The economy continues gasping for air. Credit cards continue to be used to buy essentials like food and groceries according to Bloomberg. The inflation caused by the Federal Reserves devaluing our dollar makes prices go up on food as well as the price of Gold which reached over $1600 with silver hovering around $40 an ounce. The jobless rate continues to go up. So, with the continual litany of bad news, where can we find hope?
The Bible challenges all of us to deal with our SPAM. Not the SPAM in Monty Python or worse the Spam and eggs they sell at McDonalds for breakfast. (True story, I walked by a McDonalds selling SPAM for breakfast…see photo.) I’m not sure how much you’d need to pay me to eat SPAM, but I think the answer will always be “a little bit more.”
The Bible says that human beings all worship something. We all have something in our lives that is our ultimate source of hope, life, strength, and hope. Rather than turning to God as our center, we turn to SPAM.
S is for Staus
P is for Performance
A is for Appearance
M is for Money
Every culture offers an idol in the form of SPAM. If it’s status, then we find our worth in our clothes, our car, our reputation in the community. That idol will bless us when things are going well, but curse us when things are going poorly. If we are our Status, our worth leaves when our status wanes. Others of us find our value in our Performance. It may be the way we perform as an employee, a spouse, a mother, or an athlete. We feel good when we perform well. We are crushed if we fail. Our identity is all about our performance. Some of us build our lives on our Appearance. We need to be skinnier. We wish we were taller or had fewer wrinkles. Blonds have more fun… no, I wanted to be a brunette. As long as our appearance is our identity, we will be caught in a cycle of pride (“I look better than others”) or a cycle of fear (“I wonder if I will ever be desirable?”). More times than not, our sense of self-worth is tied to our Money. It may be our savings, our spending, our assets, or perhaps our retirement. When the numbers are up, we feel safe and good. When the numbers are down, we are devastated. Our money is our life.
God offers us a new source of hope and peace. God Himself, the maker of the universe and the owner of all the cattle on a thousand hills chose us. He chose to love us. He chose to die for us. He gave us riches beyond imagination in Christ. We who receive him are heirs, joint heirs with Christ. We have riches that neither moth nor rust can touch. Though we may gain or lose the whole world, we cannot lose our soul which is kept by Him. We may have a vault full of cultural SPAM or we may be runny a little low on SPAM these days, but we have something of surpassing value which is the eternal security of grace, the power of being kept in His hand. We know that nothing can separate us from His love: neither height, depth, principality, or power. How Great is our God.
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