I was recently on an episode of The Wax Museum Podcast talking about having an Entrepreneur Mindset. This led me to ponder the idea of the American Dream and whether it's a biblical mindset to have. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.
We need to reignite the American Dream… it’s been redefined and completely obliterated by the mainstream media. It used to be that the goal was to come to America and be able to be self-sufficient. It was expected that you weren’t going to get a handout, but that you could go to work, start a business and provide for your family without governmental interference.
While, today, we are trading our freedom for safety, our Founding Fathers traded safety for freedom.
“Give me liberty or give me death.” - Patrick Henry
Proverbs 10:4 tells us that “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” That’s the mentality that our nation was founded upon. Life wasn’t supposed to be easy in America. People weren’t supposed to have the same outcomes. But we all had the chance to make something of ourselves, and if we worked hard and smart, we could be self-sufficient.
What we have today is a reliance on Big Government and Big Business. Both of these are indicators or a larger problem with the America people. We, as a society, have been programmed to be reliant on someone else for our success, demanding that the rich owe us a job, income and financial stability. Let me break the news to you bluntly: They owe you nothing.
As Christians, let’s get back to the biblical model of being self-sufficient with our finances. Don’t rely on someone else for your paycheck… create your own! Start a side hustle. Come up with a service or product that you can provide to others and start building your business!
Here’s the thing… had our nation continued to be focused on small, local business instead of big multi-national corporations, we might not even have the current COVID-19 crisis. Think about it: Thousands upon thousands of people are traveling back and forth between China and America every single day. Why? Because of trade, primarily with big companies. China provides cheap (slave) labor, so our big companies manufacture through the Chinese companies.
Had we been focused on small, local businesses, like how we did things in early America, there wouldn’t be as much trade with China, we wouldn’t be dependent on them, and the crazy diseases and viruses that constantly come from China would be less likely to come over here to the United States.
Also, if we take a look at the economy here in the US, if we focused more on small mom-and-pop shops, we might see an easier rebound coming out of a fiasco like what we are seeing today with the virtually nation-wide shutdown. We’d also see less people losing their jobs. Think about it: a big corporation is focused on keeping their investors happy… they’ll throw their employees under the bus to show a profit for their investors. However, a small, local business only answers to themselves, so they’d be more likely to open up shop quicker than Big Business.
Also, as believers, maybe we should stop trying to have a job that forces us to work for others and create a product or service so that we are no longer beholden to anybody. Think about it: Paul was a tent-maker. He used that job to provide for himself, but he was also able to set his own hours and travel wherever he wanted preaching the Gospel. He wouldn’t have had that freedom had he been tied down working for someone else. Maybe we should take a cue from him.
This is not something where I’m going to say that it’s sinful to have a job. That’s stupid, wrong and legalistic. However, my preference, pragmatically speaking, is that we should get back to having our own small businesses. It would be better for the economy. It would be better for national security. It would be better for our families. It could also, potentially, be better for the Gospel, as we see in Paul’s life.
Just something to prayerfully consider.