What I Read Today:
Ephesians 5; Luke 12; Ezekiel 42; Ecclesiastes 12; 1 Kings 12
I like Google™ Maps. Knowing that the map program is going to get me to a final destination is a beautiful security blanket.
The Bible is just such a roadmap.
It provides us a guidebook for life. Specific chapters of the Bible are rich in ways in which we should live our lives.
Ephesians 5 is just such a chapter.
Let’s start with verses 1 & 2, “Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.” CSB
Be imitators of God and walk in love. Imitating God entails a self-sacrificing love for our neighbors and those in our community. Walking in love means putting others’ needs before us and giving of ourselves to those in need. Walking in love includes building others up, not tearing them down. Our society has decided that walking in love means getting our way. We don’t walk in love. That’s self-love, not Christ’s love.
What is not acceptable in God’s eyes? Let’s see what verses 3-5 have to say.
“But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. Obscene and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks. For, know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” CSB
Paul calls out several types of behaviors that are rampant in our society today.
The first behavior is sexual immorality. Marriages are currently failing at a 50% rate. Sexual sin has led to problems surrounding childcare, child-rearing, and discipline in our children. Statistics show that single-parent homes in our inner cities are leading to increasing gang violence, out of wedlock births, higher crime rates, and urban decay. A child born in a single-parent home is more likely to grow up in poverty, less likely to graduate high school, and even less likely to attend college.
Yet our entertainment industry continues pumping out a product that glorifies the very behaviors that are leading us down a darker road.
The second behavior Paul calls out is greed. Let’s examine one industry as an example of the damage greed does.
Drug companies around the world are making money hand over fist. The profits are incredible. In 2019 Eli Lilly, one of the manufacturers of Insulin, posted a 6.1-billion-dollar earnings report.
How did they do that? It’s quite simple. They make a product that costs them around $7 a vial to make. They sell that product for approximately $21 for a month’s supply in 1997. The increase in the price of this product until 2020 the cost for a month’s supply is $275. While the rate of inflation over that time frame was around 1.5% annually, Eli Lilly increased the price of its product by 1200%. Eli Lilly’s corporate profits have made many rich. They have also wreaked havoc on the lives of those who cannot afford the price of the Insulin anymore.
Yet, greed is not just a problem for those in our corporate world. We have become a nation where consumerism and greed have become the norm. We want what we don’t have, so we seek to obtain things by any means necessary. We had to pass laws to prevent ghost working because of ghost worker scandals in the 1990s. That was the practice of one employee punching in an employee who didn’t show up to work. Over-Billing by professionals such as lawyers, accountants, and consulting engineers, became such a practice in the early 2000s that several pieces of legislation were passed to outlaw the practice. Let’s not even talk about wall street. A recent issue came up with three senators who sold stocks right before the pandemic hit. These Senators had been in a classified meeting concerning the virus, and immediately they sold several shares that were adversely affected by the epidemic.
We can go on and on concerning the rest of chapter 5, but I think you get the point.
As Christians, we are to put the needs of others before ourselves. Our society is moving in the opposite direction largely because Christians have failed to take this seriously. We see the results.
But it’s never too late!