Sunday, November 18, 2012

Random $ Thoughts

An acquaintance of mine posted a link to an article on Facebook, and I'm not sure if the idea behind this is brilliant or stupid.

Here, I'll let you read it yourself.  I'll wait.

::gets up and brushes her teeth::

::feeds the cat so he won't keep sitting on her every time she sits down::

Okay. I'm conflicted.  The concept behind this--the arbitrary forgiveness of debt--is fascinating.  That other people would willingly buy random debt for pennies, and then just forgive it seems like a Christ-like story if ever I heard one.

But it just doesn't seem fiscally responsible, you know?   I'm just going to wager a guess that most of the people donating to this cause are members of Occupy Wall Street because, well, they are "the 99%".  From the stories I've heard and read about OWS, they seem to attract the "woe is me, I had to take out student loans, and I can't pay them back" crowd.  So, instead of paying on their own loans, they're rewarding people who defaulted on their debt--so they can rack up more?  (It's statistical.  The root of the problem is not solved, just the symptoms.)  So, instead of taking care of their own messes, they're giving their money to others, "giving a drunk a drink" if you will.  I know, I know.  This is an extreme what if scenario, but this is where my mind goes.

Perhaps my heart needs work.

We voted on some financial matters at church this month, and I abstained from voting.  My heart is hurting over this, too.  Am I faithless?  Do I believe that God can do big things?  YES, I DO!  I sat in church this morning and counted 18--EIGHTEEN!--small children on the steps for the children's sermon, knowing that when we came here, there were three or four children that would be there regularly.  God has done big things in our church and I know that he's not done yet.  So, why do I have anxiety about the money stuff?

For the same reason the OWS thing seems conflicting to me.

Because I'm selfish and depraved.  I'm a sinner.  And I have to re-remind myself about God's nature and sovereignty and BIGness, and about the gospel story--every day.


Craig-Jen said...

I read that article, saw something and I had to find out what it was about. I'm with you - it doesn't make sense. I'm sorry, but you and I worked our rear ends off to get through college. Did we need to attend a pricey, private school? Nope. That was MY choice. And I found ways to pay for it and I certainly went without - A LOT. I'm forever grateful for the opportunities afforded to me through the military.

It frustrates me to no end when I hear of people griping about their college loans. Look, I went without FOOD to pay for books...I don't necessarily recommend that to everyone, but I was determined to make it happen. I could have taken out loans and I was even offered some I didn't accept. It would have helped, but I chose my path. It SICKENS me to see people take out 'school' loans and then buy a CAR or BEER or CLOTHES. I saw it all.the.time. That's not school debt. That irresponsible debt.

My parents do without everyday. If they don't have the money, they SAVE for it. We want our food fast, and our electronics faster. We can't wait for things. We don't savor the small bites of a treat because we can put a half gallon of ice cream on credit. It makes NO sense.

I'm tired of hearing the entitled say they deserve something without work. People get fat on unhealthy foods and by indulging and want to lose weight without any work. People rack up debt by purchasing their wants - a new car, fancy clothes, eating out - and want a bail out and cry that they weren't given chances.

Maybe my heart needs to be worked on, but I don't think so...we give until it hurts. And not just because we follow the Bible - because we want to.

Sorry...such a rant :)

Scott and Jill Clair Gentry said...

I have mixed feelings about this, too. On one hand, yes... what a picture of Christ-likeness... I mean, this parable is in the Bible several times!

But at the same time, I agree that debt is an addiction, and just forgiving someone's debt without providing counseling or following up somehow is dangerous. There needs to be some accountability involved.

Obviously OWS is not a Christian ministry, but think about what the church could do with this sort of thing? How cool would it be to do something like this, but have the Gospel behind it to back it up... and really follow through and help people have a fresh start with a real chance to not dig themselves back into that hole.

I like the idea, but it needs some work. I think debt and financial problems are certainly self-imposed most of the time, but much of the problems are a result of family background and lack of any sort of financial education. Huge ministry opportunity... sad that it's OWS taking this on and not the church.