Ever feel like wrapping yourself up inside a cocoon and praying God would transform you from an ugly caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly? I think we all have at some point in life. Well, the good news is that it is God's desire that every Christian be transformed from the inside out. The bad news is that it is through great struggle, like that of the caterpillar, that we gain strength to become a butterfly.
The story is told of the compassionate little boy who sees the struggling butterfly attempting to shed his cocoon, and decides to help the process along by prematurely cutting open the cocoon, only to discover his shortcut may cost the butterfly his very life. Sometimes, I feel like that little boy when I see those around me struggling through some of life's toughest challenges, but I think I have learned a very important lesson that I want to share with you today.
To begin with, lets examine God's economic law of sowing and reaping found in Galatians 6:7: "Whatsoever a man sows that will he also reap". God's law of sowing and reaping is a basic economic law that we should not attempt to alter or ignore. The reason: the possibility of failure is essential for human growth. If we've sown bad seeds in the past we should not be surprised to find our life full of weeds. Sometimes, true love means that we must temper our compassion for other needs, with our trust in God's ability to meet the needs in His timing and methods. As a family man, I know that it is hardest to practice this among those who we love the most, but in reality, to reward someone for disobeying God is both dangerous and destructive.
Unfortunately, our government leaders have been very poor role models when it comes to helping people solve life's most basic economic problems. Our misguided economic policy has, over the last three generations, attempted to become that compassionate little boy -- cutting open cocoons by the millions. The consequences are now all around us: unwed welfare mothers, fatherless children, non-productive men and women who are now co-dependent on a government check to survive, rather than placing their faith in God's hand of provision. Our government welfare policy produces perpetual immaturity at best, ans possibly enslavement and hopelessness at worst.
What's the solution? To become more callused to the urgent needs of those around us? No, but Truth is the ultimate compassion. Christians, we need to share the truth, wisdom, and skills that we possess with those in need. To do any less is to hand Uncle Sam the scissors. Overcoming financial struggles cannot be done with a quick snip of the scissors, it requires time in the Lord's pruning hand. Government programs that throw money at poverty will never solve anything because poverty is first spiritual. Jesus is the Truth, the Way, and the Life. True wealth, like self-esteem, is best earned.
What is God's answer to financial struggle and poverty? Spiritual growth, personal responsibility and a strong work ethic -- which are achieved by obeying God. If you, or someone you know, is battling to shed their cocoon, keep in mind, true love may require that you allow them to struggle for a season, to gain strength to become that beautiful butterfly.