Luke 1:28 “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Bill Johnson points out in “The Essential Guide to Healing” that an angel of the Lord called Mary “highly favored”, yet in the eyes of the world, she held the stigma of mothering an illigetimate child. “Sometimes the favor of heaven causes problems on earth.”
While I know that I must follow heaven’s mandate even if that means sacrificing acceptance from the world, I also believe that when my heart is aligned with God’s, it’s only a matter of time before others catch on. That’s brought me great comfort when I don’t get credit for work I’ve done, or when I get blamed for faults that aren’t mine.
I’ve found that this general pattern is true not only for people, but also for technology. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. Jesus is the word, and the good news is information. So the ability to store, process and transfer information has helped more and more people to experience the love of God through the years. To me, it’s obvious that God was in the invention of the printing press, yet very smart people criticized it as the end of diligence (for monks) and the start of mental corruption (for novel reading masses). Similar criticisms were railed at the telephone (it breaks up the home) and the internet (it enables child pornography). Those criticisms were actually all at least partly true, but most people would argue that the benefits of printed books far outweigh the costs.
I’ve received all sorts of criticisms about crypto from all sorts of people. “It’s used for money laundering.” “It enables human trafficking and drug dealing.” “It’s not investing, it’s gambling.” I actually don’t entirely disagree with any of these statements, but I also believe it’s not the full picture. Boycotting books because of some negative effects feels somewhat silly today. And while Bitcoin might feel like the mother of an illegitimate child right now, I believe that over time we will see God use crypto to enable more people to experience His love. As that happens, I think more people of influence will come around, just like they have for books, for telephones, and for the internet.
Yesterday we saw a big step in this direction as President Nayib Bukele announced that he will propose a bill to make Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador alongside the US Dollar. The international community will apply intense pressure to pull back on proposed legislation. It has far-reaching implications on the world financial system. Merchants in the US could potentially do their accounting in Bitcoin (not paying taxes on gains in Bitcoin gains vs USD for instance). But the biggest implication by far is the air of credibility that the status brings to Bitcoin and its proponents.
When one of my boys gets upset because of what his brother said, I’ll tell him that “it doesn’t matter what anyone on earth says if you know you’re affirmed by God.” Similarly, if God is going to use crypto it really doesn’t matter that a world leader praises or criticizes the movement. I don’t claim to have any special prophetic license on all this, so I could totally be wrong and do my best to maintain a sense of humility about it all. But one thing I know is that God is good, and he has hope and a future in store for us. So I’m really excited to see what’s next.
Lord, thank you for being a loving father. We know the world is so broken, yet just a word from you makes us whole. We find our affirmation and identity in you and you alone. Though we don’t deserve it, we know we are highly favored, and that you are with us. Let your will be done. In your son’s name, Amen.