Making It Right

It was a perfect day for our garage sale—bright and warm. People rummaged through clothing, paperbacks, and mismatched dishes. I noticed a young woman looking at a string of white beads. A few minutes later, the necklace vanished along with its admirer. I spotted her in the street, jogged the length of my driveway, and discovered the missing jewelry nestled in her palm. As we faced each other with the knowledge of what had happened, she volunteered to pay for the stolen item.

Zacchaeus, the tree-climbing tax collector, met Jesus and was changed. He vowed to repay four times the amount of money he had dishonestly taken from others (Luke 19:8). In those days, tax collectors frequently overcharged citizens and then pocketed the extra funds. Zacchaeus’ eagerness to pay back the money and to donate half of what he owned to the poor showed a significant change of heart. He had once been a taker, but after meeting Jesus he was determined to make restoration and be a giver.

Zacchaeus’ example can inspire us to make the same kind of change. When God reminds us about items we have taken, taxes left unpaid, or ways we have wronged others, we can honor Him by making it right.

Help me, dear Lord, to be honest and true In all that I say and all that I do; Give me the courage to do what is right To bring to the world a glimpse of Your light. —Fasick
A debt is never too old for an honest person to pay.

20 Ways America Has Begun to Reap What It Has Sown

1) Our Congress passes bills that run into the thousands of pages; then we’re surprised that the bills are full of loopholes, set asides for lobbyists and toxic clauses no one seemed to know about.

2) We’ve replaced telling the difference between right and wrong with legalisms; then we’re surprised that people are always looking for loopholes and technicalities to get out of fulfilling their obligations.

3) Feminists denigrate men, tell them to behave more like women and are offended by chivalry; then they’re surprised to find that our society has been inundated by passive, wimpy beta males.

4) Congress hasn’t produced a budget in more than 3 years, most of the big bills don’t go through the normal committee process, and parliamentary maneuvers are used to block debate and keep Republicans from offering amendments to bills; then we’re surprised when we have gridlock, filibusters and massive fights over the debt limit.

5) We allow politicians to work as highly paid lobbyists after they leave Congress; then we’re surprised when they give favorable treatment to companies they hope will make them wealthy after they leave Congress.

6) We demonize big business, pile on the regulations, raise taxes on job creators and treat successful people like the enemy; then we’re surprised that the economy’s not growing.

7) Our first priority when it comes to schools is catering to the teachers’ unions, not educating our kids; then we’re surprised at the poor quality of public education in our country.

8) We allow communists, terrorists, and people who hate America to be public university professors in this country; then we’re surprised when our college students graduate without understanding how this country works and what made it great in the first place.

9) We celebrate victimhood; then we’re surprised to see people faking hate crimes.

10) We have abundant oil supplies on our own soil that we don’t drill; then we’re surprised that gas prices are so high.

11) We reward people for not working with welfare, food stamps and countless other government programs; then we’re surprised to have so many takers demanding that everyone else pay their way.

12) We allow public sector unions to exist and funnel tax dollars into political campaigns and collaborate with politicians; then we’re surprised when the unions drive whole cities and soon, states, into bankruptcy with their exorbitant salaries and benefits.

13) We create gun free zones; then we’re surprised when crazy people with guns go there to kill people because they know no one will be armed.

14) We gerrymander congressional districts to the point that it’s practically impossible for most members of the House to be beaten by someone from the opposite party; then we’re surprised when neither side can work together.

15) We set up rules that give existing unions every advantage over the companies that hire them; then we’re surprised when those companies start to inevitably fall apart.

16) We worry more about children’s self-esteem than their performance; then we’re surprised when college kids aren’t ready for the working world.

17) We encourage multiculturalism, don’t teach patriotism, and treat American citizenship like it’s valueless; then we’re surprised as we become ever more segmented and divided as a people.

18) We elect and re-elect politicians who lie to our faces, see prostitutes, use hard drugs and have affairs; then we’re surprised when we find most politicians care more about keeping their cushy jobs than helping the country.

19) We denigrate Christianity at every opportunity, mock people of honor, and openly scoff at people who talk about morals; then we’re surprised at how dishonest and nasty our society has become.

20) We have a sky high corporate tax rate, a ridiculous legal system that exposes corporations to abusive and time-consuming lawsuits, and the most progressive income tax system in the Western world; then we’re surprised when American companies move overseas.

John Hawkins

John Hawkins is a professional writer who runs Right Wing News, Linkiest, and PicaQuote. He’s also the co-owner of the The Looking Spoon. You can read more from John Hawkins on Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest, and at Pajamas Media.

Fiscal Cliff? How About the Moral Cliff? By Jim Daly , CP Guest Contributor

There is endless talk these days about the looming “fiscal  cliff,” the catastrophic economic nightmare that many predict will befall the  United States if taxes go up and government spending is significantly cut come  January 2, 2013, as mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

To be sure, the stakes are high.

But all this conversation about an economic cliff has got me thinking:

Is there a moral cliff? And have we already reached it – or are we walking  dangerously close to the edge?

Ironically, one of the reasons we’re on the verge of this fiscal cliff in the  first place is that too many have believed for too long that moral problems can  be solved or managed through fiscal policy.

In other words, we believe that almost every problem can be fixed by spending  money on it.

To be clear, I believe that government can and does provide noble services  for the common good. I also believe it can, in certain circumstances, provide an  appropriate safety net that prevents an individual or family from spiraling down  to a point of no return.

But I also believe that the root of most of our problems is not money. It’s  sin and the fallen nature of mankind.

Throw all the government money you have at the problem of abortion and you’ll never get down to the root  cause of what prompts a woman to abort her own flesh and blood.

Throw all the money at the plague of poverty  and you’ll never get down to solving the most common foundational problems that  send someone into it in the first place, which in western nations is usually  tied to family breakdown.

It was the English writer G.K. Chesterton who once said that man must suffer  for his morality. I think this is what the Apostle Paul meant when he observed  that we reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7).

There are always going to be consequences to our decisions – and our  priorities.

What will come of the fiscal cliff negotiations remains to be seen. What I do  know, though, is that if we spent as much time as a nation working and worrying  about our moral code as we do our economic well-being, we wouldn’t be standing  on the edge of either cliff.