The Arrival of GST

According to our Prime Minister, we entered a ‘brave new world’ last Saturday when the GST came into effect. Funny though, waking up the next day didn’t seem all that different from the day before, and the ensuing week seemed pretty much similar to the one previous. The Opposition had been warning us of the impending doom which the same ‘brave new world’ would unleash upon us. But, at this stage of the process, neither of the two claims seems to have held much substance. At this stage.

It causes one to pause and consider how significant change (whether beneficent or cataclysmic) takes place. We affirm the teaching that giving one’s life to Christ brings fundamental change in a person’s life; for some people there are dramatic and instantaneous consequences; for others there seems to be little external evidence. But is the change any different in the two cases?

A tiny acorn planted in the ground creates no appearance of dramatic change, at least to the naked eye. But through the ensuing years a tiny sapling emerges and grows, until an oak tree in all its majesty provides shade and shelter. So it is with the person who gives themselves to Christ. The seed of life that is planted in the christian has the power to bring significant transformation over time.

The view that we take of a particular instance, or a particular situation can change, depending upon the perspective we take. The temptation in our time is to measure everything by its immediate impact, rather than its long-term implications. This is evident in relation to the positions taken in the debate about the implementation of the new tax system. When we take that view of matters pertaining to faith, the result can be to obliterate from view the real implications of the choices we make: when we don’t get immediate answers to prayer; when reading the bible doesn’t immediately address our situation; where service brings no evident fruit; where faithfulness and obedience only brings us to deeper trials. If the immediate response is the measure of success, the ultimate fruit is eliminated. The immediate cost is considered too great.

Time will tell on the GST and the new tax system. So will it tell in relation to the choices we make in our relationship with God.

July 9, 2000
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