Author, The Happiest Man in the World: Life Lessons from a Cultural Economist
If God is the source and all else is resource, why is so much time and effort expended on scrambling for and dividing up the meager familiar when there is so much abundance yet to be utilized? Why isn’t more emphasis placed on discovery and development of things yet unseen and underutilized, instead of on redistribution of the meager familiar? My research indicated that God’s offer was quite clear:
. . . my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches . . . (Phil. 4:19 KJV)
Principle # 2: God Is Looking for a People
Another economic offer that seems quite clear is that God’s economy is not a closed economy. It is not a Zero Sum System. In economic terms, some say that there is only so much pie in a pie. If one person gets more of the pie it simply means that another person must get less of the pie. They compare it to a poker game or a game of Monopoly, in which one person gains only at the expense of another person losing.
In my assigned reading, I discovered scores of examples where needed appropriations were actually created at the time they were needed. Elements of the economy literally expanded, rather than contracted. On one occasion, 5,000 men, plus women and children, were fed to satisfaction with the multiplying of five small loaves of bread and two fish . . . and afterward, there were twelve baskets full of food left over. On another occasion, water came right out of a rock to take care of thousands of thirsty people, and food actually came from the sky every morning for years just to feed them.
Instead of being a closed economy, the research indicates that the threshold has been lowered, and open enrollment has been declared for as many people as would like to join the economy. They are now welcome to become involved. In fact, it appears that the economic model actually works better the larger the number of people there are who get involved.
It appears that throughout history God has always had a collection of people who were convinced enough of his integrity that they would risk their possessions and even their lives on his economic principles. It seems that he is eagerly on the watch to locate people, even today, who would become part of the economic model.
For the eyes of the Lord search back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect toward him, so that he can show his great power in helping them. (2 Chron. 16:9 TLB)
Evidence is recorded that when God can find even a handful of people who seriously pursue the economics of the interior model, the course of history is usually altered.
A fellow named Haggai presented the economic characteristics to a group of people of his generation and challenged the way they were managing their personal lives:
You plant much but harvest little. You have scarcely enough to eat or drink, and not enough clothes to keep you warm. Your income disappears, as though you were putting it into pockets filled with holes!
You hope for much but get so little. And when you bring it home, I blow it away – it doesn’t last at all. Why? Because my Temple lies in ruins and you don’t care. Your only concern is your own fine homes. That is why I am holding back the rains from heaven and giving you such scant crops. (Haggai 1:6, 9—10)
An exciting thing happened. A handful of people responded positively to the challenge. They realized that Haggai wasn’t against fine houses. They realized what he was really saying was It’s not so much what you have . . . but what has you . . . that makes all the difference in the world! That small handful of people began earnestly following the economic model of the interior and exciting things began to happen, and the Lord told them,
Take courage and work, for I am with you . . . “The future splendor of this Temple will be greater than the splendor of the first one! For I have plenty of silver and gold to do it! And here I will give peace,” says the Lord. (Haggai 2:4, 9)
God seemed eager to show his desire to validate the handful of obedient participants. He promised to alter their outcomes even before their project was completed:
“Before, when you expected a twenty-bushel crop, there were only ten. When you came to draw fifty gallons from the olive press, there were only twenty. I rewarded all your labor with rust and mildew and hail. Yet, even so, you refused to return to me,” says the Lord.
“But now note this: from today, this 24th day of the month, as the foundation of the Lord’s Temple is finished, and from this day onward, I will bless you. Notice, I am giving you this promise now before you have even begun to rebuild the Temple structure, and before you have harvested your grain, and before the grapes and figs and pomegranates and olives have produced their next crops; from this day I will bless you.(Haggai 2: 16-19 TLB)
We are assured that those same principles are equally transferable today to participants of the economic model of the interior.
Next Week: What about Greed?
© Dr. James W. Jackson
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Dr. James W. Jackson often describes himself as "The Happiest Man in the World." A successful businessman, award-winning author and humanitarian, Jackson is also a renowned Cultural Economist and international consultant, helping organizations and governments to apply sound economic principals to the transformation of culture so that everyone is "better off."
As the founder of Project C.U.R.E., Dr. Jackson traveled to more than one hundred fifty countries assessing healthcare facilities, meeting with government leaders and "delivering health and hope" in the form of medical supplies and equipment to the world's most needy people. Literally thousands of people are alive today as a direct result of the tireless efforts of Project C.U.R.E.'s staff, volunteers and Dr. Jackson.