By now the word ‘stimulus’ is etched into the American psyche, albeit with mixed reaction. How affective it will be in stimulating a sluggish economy remains to be seen! But the debt it has incurred is quite apparent. Of course the logic behind stimulus spending is that it will generate jobs, income and tax revenues to pay the debt. In short, stimulate now; pay later.
The temptation toward stimulation is as old as Adam and Eve. One of the most famous (infamous) examples of a self-made stimulus was David’s moral failure on an uneventful Saturday afternoon—resulting in death and despair. But the most celebrated example of stimulus is that of Abraham and Sarah who, growing tired of waiting for God’s promised child, conspired to speed things up, a stimulus that resulted in the birth of Ishmael, whose ancestors—the Arabs—are the bane of their existence to this day.
The current stimulation strategy has a lesson for us. Let’s face it; it is natural for us to look for stimulation during slow times. The temptation to make something happen increases the longer we wait. Nonetheless, our self-made stimulus packages incur a debt that will have to be reckoned with later. You may stimulate now, but there is always payback (Gal. 6:7).
But thank God, that even though our sinful impulses may carry natural consequences ('Ishmaels'), God will not leave us in debt: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all [the debt of] unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9).