“One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth (Proverbs 13:7).”
Economic indicators help tell those interested in finance how well the economy is doing. For example, economists can look at housing starts and if they are increasing, they believe the economy is growing. However, if unemployment is increasing then the economy is shrinking. Unemployment though is considered a lagging indicator because when it decreases the economy may already be growing again.
There are some really surprising things that can tell economists how well the economy is doing. Take underwear for example. Fox Business News just had a report that says when men increase their purchase of underwear, then the economy is growing. Apparently men will wear underwear until it rots, so if they buy it they must have money.
What if our pastors or spiritual mentors could analyze our spiritual growth as men with a set of spiritual economic indicators? They could tell us how well our “spiritual economy” –how we relate to God and others — is doing.
Take a look at these and see how you are doing:
SPIRITUAL ECONOMIC INDICATORS*
|Spiritual indicator||If increasing, spiritual life is…||Comments|
|Road Rage||Shrinking||Better check under the hood, pal.|
|Big Mac consumption||Shrinking||You are into “comfort food”.|
|Hugs||Growing||I love you, man-in a manly sort of way.|
|“Time Outs” for kids||Shrinking||Better consult James Dobson; (they don’t work.)|
|Fantasy football participation||Growing or shrinking||Growing if you do it with your kids; shrinking if you are in 5 leagues.|
|Unemployment||Growing||The best thing that ever happened to you; you can finally write that novel and have extended time with God.|
|Incarceration||Growing or shrinking||Depends on what you got arrested for.|
|Facebook friends||Shrinking||Get a real life.|
|Gym visits||Growing||Gotta take care of the temple, a lagging indicator.|
Now, make your own table.
* Adapted from a table by Peter Jones for a Financial English course