The maniacs on Madison Avenue don't realize what a thorough job they have done. They have created a nation afflicted with a monstrous lust to have; to own; to possess at all costs.

It wouldn't be so bad if it were restricted to cars and refrigerators, but the psychological tricks employed by these masters of advertising have generated an indiscriminate frenzy to acquire things - any and all things. This creates an environment where controlled spending is viewed as an aberration: something which is, somehow, "not good for the economy". How many times have you heard a politician or economist say something like "We need to ease credit so that consumers will buy and get the economy back on track"?

Buy what? Buy something they need? NO! Buy anything. Buy on credit. Beg, borrow or steal, but buy something now! Be a "good" American. It goes still further: Our national debt and ludicrous deficits are based on this underlying, psychotic need to spend - to have:

"Let's do it."

"But how will we pay for it?"

"What are you talking about, you idiot? Who cares? We want it now!"

All this in a nation founded upon the Rock of God: A God of plenty; a God of abundance; a God of more than "enough". The prodigal son ended up, inevitably, on his face in a pig trough looking with envy (what else?) at the swine's dinner. That is going to happen in America, folks, it must. It's the law. You can't spend more than you bring in as a matter of habit. You can't do it without paying the consequences, no matter how many times you chant the mantra "Deficits don't matter".

As God's people, we need to start leading the way with fiscal sanity in our personal lives. Postpone, save and plan. God will provide the resources for you to get out of debt. First the church, and then the nation, if we will just let Him have control of our finances.

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Friday, July 16, 1999