In an NPR Interview on Alternative currencies, it was reported that some businesses who do trade create internal currency of credit system. This system allowed companies to do business with a consistent trade value system. This would be unaffected by fluctuation in economies across the world. This was brilliant, because no matter where each business was located, they could have good business relationships based on an alternative to unstable economies.
There is another group that has an alternative currency. It’s the Church. Churches have an alternative currency of grace. When we look at our world, most currencies are based on greed, hate, and destruction. Some of it is merited, some of it is not so. The followers of Jesus are called to a different life. Although it seems like success is in taking by force, we know through Jesus, we are called to a life of graciousness and humility. Our way of life says that must show grace to everyone. It is a grace that is loving and yet challenges people to experience a better and more powerful life lived in Christ. We also have humility as part of our system. We do not always get the love part right. We also fail in living a life fitting to calling Jesus our Lord. We need the same grace we are called to give out.
This is not a normal exchange. It’s unique to the world. But it is a better way. The poor, widows, orphans, aliens, imprisoned, broken, lying, failing, and imperfect all benefit from this. It is the way Jesus prayed that we would live in John 17. It’s a way of submission offered as the alternative. It does not seek the status quo, but instead chooses a way that is unaffected by the world’s way of doing things.
This incubates the Jesus follower from conforming to the World. He must be focused on this lifestyle. It is our litmus test. It takes us to new territory. It makes us creative and blessed. It brings heaven to earth.
It is easy to take the path of selfish living, because it fits with our assumptions of power and control, which is the problem of humanity since Genesis 3. The power of living the alternative life in Christ is that it is not in getting what we want, but in being vindicated and blessed by God, regardless of our circumstances. This is a force that cannot be stopped. How do you stop a group of people that have no stock in the fights that everyone else is fighting. You could threaten them, spit on them, and kill them, but they would keep going, because they do not seek the control and power. They are free. The one who truly has power is God. He is the one who is able to conquer giants on our behalf. All they have to do is act and obey. This is about liberation as much as it is about grace and humility. Power and control never bring freedom or happiness. Only God can. Worldly power only brings pain and destruction.
I hope that God brings us to the path of being a servant and giving grace rather than us taking control of our lives, because, let’s be honest, we have no idea what we are doing and have a tendency to muck up the life. God has a better plan of grace, I say we should follow that instead.