new life fellowship

serving jesus christ the king

The Welcome Humbling of a Bailout

I suspect that most of us are fed up hearing about the financial circumstances of our country, and of bailouts in particular. The figures are so astronomically huge that it’s almost easier to bury our heads than to get our heads around them. Maybe it will all go away? I don’t think so.

How humiliating for us to have to accept such a bailout from Europe for our own stupidity, greed, corruption and incompetence. After all, we are Ireland, the land of the Celtic Tiger, the land that had finally come of age, but like a child who thinks they can ride without stabilisers a little too early, we have come a cropper.

Now here we are with cap in hand, our pride in tatters. And yet I say this is a welcome humbling. What could I possibly mean?

It has been a year when it has become evident that our political, financial and religious leaders have failed us on a massive scale. We need help far more than we realise. The problem with Ireland is not the government, or the banks, or even the church. Those are only symptoms of a malaise that lies much deeper. It is the problem of the heart. True, it doesn’t always show as badly in everyone, but then not all of us have had the opportunity of power or wealth to let the weeds grow as wild, but the weeds are there nonetheless.

And if it has taken this series of calamities to cause us to realise this, then it is a welcome humbling. For it is now that we are in a position to rebuild and to grow. But that growth starts not at government level, nor with finances, nor institutional church structures, but with each of us before God.

Our hearts need changed or we will just end up back here again in some shape or form. And here is where the good news is. Ironically, it comes in the form of a bailout. However unlike the financial bailout, which is a misnomer because we have to pay it all back, God’s bailout is a genuine one. His has no interest fee. He offers to cancel our debt of sin, and pick up the price tag himself. That’s what the crucifixion is about. And he offers to change us from the very depths of our hearts.

Our land needs this humbling time. But it will only be good for us if we turn to God and humble ourselves before him. We need his bailout, his cancelling of our sin and guilt. Playing with financial bailouts, while necessary, is only alleviating the symptoms, the sickness of the heart remains.

This could be the start of something truly great for Ireland.