During my recent study of Bob Goff’s “Love Does”, I became familiar with a phrase he used very often – God’s Reverse Economy. It seems to stick with me and continues to give me a different perspective on my life and what I see around me. When I combined those thoughts with some messages my own pastor brought over the past few weeks, I was challenged to write this Crooked Path post.
In God’s Reverse Economy, it isn't about what we think are the "right" things. Important or not they are at best secondary to being with the Teacher. We're not students as much as we are apprentices. Yet it goes beyond that. We are looking to learn how to live LIFE. We are to be cultural insiders looking for opportunities to engage as the Body of Christ. And, in the end, Love does what it should and must do.
The Reverse Economy isn't just what we do it becomes who we are. We assume Jesus's identity as our own and live that way. The Eternal Godhead creates us in His Image not out of boredom or loneliness or some other misguided reason. He does it as an intentional expression of Himself in every way and then invites us to embrace Him and His passion and compassion for a Creation that walked away.
In God's Reverse Economy we willingly give up all we think is valuable to invest in what we can never "own" in any other way. When we come to that perspective and embrace it as our own, we participate in the Redemption that cost Him everything of true value.
We are made for a purpose. There is an answer to the question of "Why am I here?" and it doesn't look like what we think it does. In fact, it is far simpler than any of that. God's nature and His Law is designed to draw us to Him in a constant manner. It is an enabling thing that gives us Jesus' perspective and Life so we avoid Death and its associated burden and dead end. In this way, only the Reverse Economy ever produces lasting value and worth.
This means living in a state of community, not isolation. When we reject the true community God offers, we create our own economy that will always fail. It may even look prosperous briefly but that fades and we're left with empty hands and a bankrupt soul. What this means for us is obedience. That's not a complicated thing, but it is hard. It willingly walks away from the false and temporal nature of our economy and submits to God's Reverse Economy. It grows in faith and trust that Father God is there at the head of the Crooked Path and our Divine Brother Jesus walks with us. And even when it looks and feels contrary to our "natural instincts" we still trust and obey.
Again - not a complicated thing … just a hard thing for us to do. It looks and sounds like foolishness. It is always disruptive to the presumed status quo. That’s why it is a Reverse Economy and can be nothing else.
As I ponder all this on the Crooked Path, I’m reminded of the story we read in John 9 regarding the blind man Jesus healed. When questioned about his past and who might have been “responsible” for him being blind, he gave a perfect answer that reflects God’s Reverse Economy. My paraphrase of the man’s response to the Pharisees goes something like this:
“I won't speculate on any of that.
I'll stick to what I know to be the facts.
Yesterday I was blind. Today I can see.”
Know this, my friends, and take it to heart. We are known completely and loved without condition. No one can tattletale on us with some deep dark secret that will catch God off guard and cause him to stop loving us. That’s the Reverse Economy and I want more of it, not some fake substitute. This leads to LIFE and that's the only thing worth sharing with others.