We’re not in Schlaraffenland
I have a friend who occasionally refers to a place called Schlaraffenland. (I know it’s hard to pronounce, but I have to use it to make my point.)
Schlarafenland is, as Wikipedia puts it, “an imaginary place of extreme luxury and ease where physical comforts and pleasures are always immediately at hand.” It’s a place where all restraint is cast off and all social conventions are defied, yet there’s always plenty of food.
The skies rain cheeses. And if that doesn’t suit you, just stick your fork in the air and a roasted chicken will fly to it, all ready to be devoured.
My friend mentions Schlarrafenland to describe the way of thinking that afflicts America. It has become a wonderland, a land of unreality, where the virtues of productivity and self-restraint have become disconnected from the expectation of prosperity.
The land is out of money? Don’t worry about correcting any profligate ways, just borrow more money without regard to the consequences it will bring.
Interestingly, the way of life worthy of ridicule in Schlarrafenland does have a kernel of truth in it. God, after all, did promise a land of milk and honey. There’s even a time in biblical history that the sky rained manna and quail from heaven when God’s people were en route to the promised land (Num.11).
But there’s a difference between life in Schlarafenland, and a land blessed by God. One is an illusion. The other can be a reality.
What is it that makes the difference? Faithful obedience to God.
The Bible tells us of God’s intention to bless with abundance. Obey Him, the Bible tells us, and His blessings will stretch from city to country, and the land will overflow with a surplus to lend other nations (Dt.28:3,12).
But with disobedience, the reverse kicks in. The Lord sends confusion and futility on account of forsaking Him. The people become the tail rather than the head, and strangers rise up to rule over them (Dt.28:20,44).
What does this mean for us? It means that our economic crisis at its core is an ethical crisis, and the way to recovery is obedience to the Lord.
The particular economic principles that must be observed are not hard to comprehend. Work hard and trust God for your provision. And don’t spend more than you have.
The nation that applies these principles will be in good economic shape.
We’re not in Schlaraffenland.