First Law of Economics

by Russ Gressett

In the world system’s economy, and in the study of economic theory in general, one of the first and foundational precepts or laws is this: As income goes up, consumption goes up.

This is one of the primary predictions or building blocks proven out over time that modern economic theory counts on to be true. Without that precept operating, the rest of the world system’s economic theory would fall apart … and it would do so at a very high rate of speed.

We see this precept working everywhere and even in our own lives. A person will think, “I have what is required to get that or to do that, so I am going to get it or do it. If I can, I will. If I want to, I will. We only live once, right?” Yes, as believers we only live once, but that one life is everlasting. The result is that eternity matters.  Eyesight toward eternity matters. A thought life that always has eternity running through it is important and it matters. Intimate relationship with our Father, who just happens to own everything, matters.

I am not saying that operating similar to that first law of economics precept is wrong in every particular instance.  It’s not. God loves for us to have nice things.  He is a God of abundance in every way.  He just wants us to have the abundance and not for the abundance to have us. He judges that by observing our hearts and our maturity and He releases his wisdom to us accordingly. Plus, the reality is that sometimes we go through seasons where things are extremely tight and where needed things, even necessities, end up being put off.  We probably all have examples of times like this in our lives. Then, when more than enough flows, some of those things have to be attended to. God understands. However, do realize what this first precept of economic theory highlights in terms of people’s decision making. The decisions that have produced that economic theory over time are generally being made by the same part of people as was true of the Rich Fool in Luke 12.  The Rich Fool decided to build bigger barns when he saw a bumper crop coming in the field. His sight, his emotions, his soul, his fears and his lusts born from the flesh part of him drove the decision. Those decisions create the economic theory we started with above.

In the Kingdom’s economy, things work different. The backbone, if you will, of the Kingdom economy is the king … King Jesus. He owns everything. Everything has been placed under his authority. The Kingdom economy operates through relationship, faith, hope, love, obedience and grace … like a family.

In the Kingdom economy, just because you can doesn’t mean you can. And, just because you can’t doesn’t mean you can’t. There is a leading by the Spirit of God for the sons of God. There is a calling of the things that are not as though they are based on having heard from God. There is wisdom and guidance that is to be heard, believed, spoken, and stepped out on. It’s not based on what is seen, as in the example of the Rich Fool in Luke 12. Rather, it is based on what is heard but not seen yet (the operation of faith).

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