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Published on January 24th, 2012 | by Nathaniel

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I Blame the Economy…

“It’s just a bad economy” or “I would, but the economy” … How many times have you heard (maybe even said) a phrase along these lines? What if it’s not a bad economy- just a bad mindset?

A couple of days ago I was driving on La Brea (if you’re in Los Angeles- this street is essential to your life) and I stopped at the Valero near the 10 freeway. While pumping gas into my car, a homeless man approached me for some money. If you’re like me- you struggle when deciding to give out money to someone who approaches you. Because if you give a couple bucks, does it really do any good? And if you don’t- you feel like you’re being selfish. But something bigger than me urged me to take him into the convenience store to get him whatever he needed. So we walked in and he picked up an Arizona Raspberry Tea and some Red Hot Cheetos (I wanted to tell him Original is so much better…) and we walked outside.

We chatted for a few minutes and I felt that same “something bigger” feeling convicting me to ask him how he became homeless. Ernie was his name. He was a little startled at the question but then took a while to process its depth. Ernie said he had been an engineer but things got rough and then “the economy got rough” and he started struggling. I nodded my head to validate his claim. We took a minute to pray and then Ernie went back to sitting near the outside corner of the gas station.

A few minutes later I got to thinking and it hit me- what is the statistical indication that it’s “tough” or “bad” economy? Unemployment and poverty are a reality for some- not because of a lack of opportunities but because of a mindset that permits excuses. And the sad thing is that many of these people allow these excuses to soak into their conscious, limiting them from achieving their goals. They end up exalting their problems and attributing them to something beyond their control- giving way to a “It’s a bad economy- mindset”. Don’t get me wrong- I understand that there are circumstances beyond human control which can affect the health of the economy and the available opportunities. Additionally, not everyone is blessed with the same opportunities. But consider that many of the people who we regard as successful are successful, not because they were born with a silver spoon- but because they utilized their resources to overcome obstacles and achieve something they desired. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, was on welfare struggling to feed her family before her passion, hard-work, and resourcefulness gave way to her success.

News-reports and newspaper periodicals are subconsciously conditioning us to believe that the economy is our problem. If I existed in a better one I could do ABC and have XYZ. I think God has been trying to send a newsflash back to us. It doesn’t matter what our situation is or what the statistical indicators of GDP, inflation, and consumer price index are telling us. Why? Because we don’t have to be limited by a “bad economy”. Ernie, I’m gunning for you buddy.

Personal Quote: “The limitation of life occurs when we exalt our struggles beyond our capacity to overcome them and God’s power to love us through it all.”

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

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