I don’t want to get religious on you, but I attended my childhood church this weekend in Wisconsin while visiting my failing mother. While saying the Lord’s Prayer by rote, I was caught off-guard hearing the usual word debt (trespass to some) replaced by sin. It’s a curse, but even in church I find my mind immediately going to money and wondering what this change has to do with our beliefs and concepts about money.
Have I for all these years, unconsciously been living with the belief that a debtor is a sinner? After all, if this all-time classic prayer (in my tradition) chose to mention debt, it must be something pretty horrific. And, if we look back historically, weren’t there prisons for those unfortunate enough to be unable to pay their debts?
Sure, now we have bankruptcy laws so people can have a fresh start and don’t have to go to debtor’s prisons or poor farms or live in eternal financial crisis. But, don’t we still look askance at those who file for bankruptcy? Maybe we’ll give them a break if it was due to catastrophic illness, unemployment or any other crisis. But, if we’re honest, don’t we have a place in us that egotistically says, “I’d never let that happen to me!”
This was so much food for thought that I missed the whole sermon! So I invite you to chew on it for awhile. Pay attention next time you think you made a bad money decision or are having a hard time making ends meet. How much compassion do you have for yourself? And, then reflect on how much compassion you have for others. Do you have more or less for yourself or none at all for anyone, no matter the circumstances? Hmmm—what’s that all about—think about it.
I started this blog 18 months ago while Mom was napping. Here I am again, only this time we’re praying for the big sleep…