Many self-respecting optimists, especially those who are econ-optimists, are proclaiming to see “green shoots” and a return to the good ‘ole days. “The stimulus has worked,” people claim and justify the economy’s coming rebound by referencing housing starts and sales, oil and gas prices or something else. The stock market goes up and morale with it and then…a piece of bad news comes….and everybody falls back to square one and the Dow falls to 7000.

An editorial in the WSJ earlier this week explored the idea that there is a difference between reality and inflated expectations. They conclude that in the long-run, reality wins.

“Like it or not, the stock market is bigger than the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury. The stock market anticipates only future profits and prosperity, not government-funded starter fluid. You can only fool it for so long. Unless there are real corporate profits from sustainable economic growth, the stock market is not going to play along. It is the ultimate enforcer.”

As opposed to message of the power of positive thinking, the Christian message also states that “Reality wins.” When Christians look at the world, we don’t believe that the stock market is the ultimate enforcer, but rather the law. It may be the 10 Commandments that act as the enforcer or it could be your marriage, job or fitness level, or any part of your life where you are found wanting. Eventually, the high-fives and exclamations of awesomeness are not enough and reality wins.

The Gospel proclaims love and forgiveness in the midst of our reality and an end to the “enforcer”.

Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.Romans 10:4