Most of us know the news about Greece; the nation is running out of money. Creditors want payments on national loans, the Greeks can’t pay, and they need to borrow more. Borrowing more is the issue. They live on borrowed money, and the supply has ended.
Many experts are sympathetic and believe the Greeks are being pressured to surrender their national sovereignty. I disagree. Independence was lost when they borrowed hundreds of billions. Now they are dodging the bill collectors. “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7) That truth hasn’t changed in 3000 years.
Greeks have demonstrated their outrage for months, and they voted to say “No” to the creditors, as advised by their government. Now the same government is saying yes, offering up items the voters refused to give. Any agreement will be a failure for someone.
It’s a mess.
And I can explain, I know how this happened. From my comfortable chair in Canada, with my experience leading churches; I can explain Greece.
The Greek people sincerely believe.
All human beings are convinced when they see themselves believing.
That is the basis of large churches, and destructive cults, and pilgrimages to Mecca, or Salt lake City, and Jehovah Witness conventions. That’s how humans are wired. We see ourselves believing with the group, and we know we have the truth.
I once read an analysis of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. A Japanese writer concluded that his nation committed suicide by attacking the Americans, because they all believed together. That was truth for them.
I went to a new coffee shop recently, where the girl at the counter was full of enthusiasm. The shop was a religious experience for her, with new-age hipster raw-vegan snacks; and high prices. I paid and watched while potential customers looked in the window, and kept walking. Outside was skepticism, and cheapness, but inside was the fire of intense belief. We all know, that business will fail soon.
In the Bible “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5)
You can’t win by racing when it’s easy.
Reality comes with skeptics, doubters, mockers, bill collectors, and deniers. If you want success, live in painful reality. Believe the truth when you are alone, and believe in something higher than yourself.
For Christians “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe …” (John 14:1)
The entire Greek nation is not waiting for my advice, but I know they are doing what we all do. And I know from experience, the only way out is to wrestle with the monsters of reality.
- Main photo: Greek protests: desbyrnephotos/Foter/CC BY