Choices In Life
The following outline found its origin in the Public Questions Broadsheet No. 26, from the article by Peter Harris, "Demystifying the Economy".
His thesis is that there are just three basic choices which we need to study in economic life, and indeed in all our life. Hence this sermon outline is offered.
1. Guns Or Butter?
Which is the more important, weapons or food? The question is to do with what we do with the non-renewable resources of our world.
The militarist will argue for guns, and the Christian? Jesus, in his parable of judgement (Matthew 25:35) argues that those who feed the hungry belong to the kingdom.
Each of us must make this choice every day as we use up the world's non-renewable resources. Too often we are looking at the waste of others, and think to ourselves, "What does my little saving matter?"
Paul reminds us, "do not be confirmed to this world". (Romans 12:2)
2. Worker Or Machine?
Peter Harris writes: "There are choices about HOW resources are organised in the course of production."
Here our choices may not seem clear or easily made. Example: An accountant computerises the office with the result that 2 typists, 2 secretaries, and 2 clerks are no longer needed, while 2 computer operators take their place. The office space needs are halved.
Is this good economics? The decision is a worker/machine choice.
For you and me who are not employers, will we choose machine made perfection, or the uniqueness of the hand crafted?
Nationally, we are at the root of the unemployment question.
What does scripture say? "You are your brother's/sister's keeper." (Genesis 4:9) "Of those who have much, much is required." (Luke 12:48)
3. Wages Or Profits?
There are choices which are dictated by our interest in either wages or profit.
The employer, large or small, needs to make this choice. Jesus reminds us, "The worker is worthy of his/her hire." (Luke 10:7) and illustrates how his people should apply this in the parable of the labourers in the vineyard. (Matthew 12:1-16)
In the more personal application, where is your investment money? Where women and men are kept in work, or in the money market where profit is the driving force?
We need to remember these three sets of choices in every decision we make each day. These choices are not new. They were not invented by politicians!
Remember: The slaughter of the baby seals in Canada. The grace of the employer in the parable of the vineyard. The movement for recycling non-renewable resources. The basis of all our social services and indeed our social security system.
But above all, remember Jesus saying to each of us: "When one is given a great deal, a great deal will be demanded."
Written by Bill Vinten