By John Grant
John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney
â€œIf My people which are called by My name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.â€?Â 2 Chronicles 7:14
During the last election cycle, yard signs, media commercials, bumper stickers and direct mail promoted CHANGE. It didnâ€™t seem to matter that most people didnâ€™t what kind of change it was, but figured they werenâ€™t as happy or as prosperous as they could be and it was probably the governmentâ€™s fault. So, the people voted for change whatever it might beâ€¦â€¦. just something different.
Well, I too think we need change and beginning of a new year is a good time to start. Letâ€™s think about what garnered the headlines this year. The banking system collapsed because of bad loans made by greedy bankers and brokers. The automotive industry is on the verge of bankruptcy because executives travel on the most expensive corporate jets while producing cars priced higher than many consumers can afford to pay.
This past month, one of the largest firms on Wall Street closed its doors after its founder admitted it was one big Ponzi scheme and dozens of investors lost in excess of $50 billion. The same week, the governor of one state was indicted for allegedly putting a seat in the United States Senate up for auction, with the governor as the beneficiary. When he was booked, he became the second governor from that state behind bars.
An analysis of state government corruption conducted by USA Today in the wake ofÂ the â€œpay-for-playâ€? scandal ranking states by a â€œcorruption index,â€? based on the number of public officials charged and arrested. Florida had more total arrests than any state in the union with 824 arrests of corrupt public officials.
It seems to me that in both the private and public sectors we have not an economic, but rather a character and integrity problem. The real challenges facing our land in the New Year are the systemic problems of insatiable greed as people orient themselves to power, possessions and position rather than humbling themselves before their creator.
The solution to your economic and corruption problems cannot be solved with government bailouts and the appointment of czars where corrupt public people oversee and regulate a corrupt and greedy private sector.
While some pull their hair not knowing how to solve our national problems, the answer is a close as the nearest Bible. More than 2500 years ago, Ezra complied the books of Chronicles and we find the answer for todayâ€™s problems in 2 Chronicles 7:14.
First it tells us that God sends judgment for our transgressions and we feel it when the Divine rod falls upon us. But, there is a formula for national redemption. We need only humble ourselves in prayer, seek Godâ€™s face and turn from our wicked ways. Then He promises to hear out our hearts, forgive our sin and heal our land.
So, if we want real change in 2009, may we as a nation fall to our knees and return to the Christian roots of this great land, praying that revival will sweep America. How can we ask God to bless America when America is not blessing God?
We canâ€™t do it for everyone, but we each individually do it for ourselves, as we begin the year by falling on our knees, acknowledging our sin and asking for national forgiveness. May America indeed bless God in 2009.
(a thought on life from John Grant )
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