What Should We Make Of Detroit’s Bankruptcy?

Detroit, Michigan, with debt of $18 billion has gone bankrupt. It is the largest American city to declare bankruptcy.

Plenty of people have analyzed what happened in Detroit. Fraud, overspending, depending on one industry, drugs, riots, violence, and poor schools have all been blamed.

The fact is Detroit is a shadow of its former self. In 1950 the city contained 1.9 million people and was the nation’s fourth largest city on a par with Los Angeles. Today Detroit has 700,000 people, about one-fifth of the population of Los Angeles.

Someone figured that if the people who left Detroit over the last 60 years had formed their own city, it would be the ninth largest in the nation. If this had been a steady progression, 2.2 people would have left Detroit every hour, 24 hours a day, for the last 63 years.

What can we learn from Detroit’s bankruptcy?

First, you must adapt to changes in life. This is especially important for churches. We have to understand people are different today than 1950. Years ago someone said something like this: If next year is 1954 the church in America is in good shape; if it’s 2014 we are in trouble. Detroit couldn’t adapt to declining population, changes in manufacturing, and a host of other issues.

Second, don’t depend on government to save you. Many people in Detroit are depending on the city of Detroit for a pension. What will they do?

Be sure to take responsibility for your present and for your future.

We must take responsibility for all of our actions. We cannot depend on others to bail us out.

Third, righteousness exalts a nation or a city. Crime and lawlessness has made Detroit a city where most people don’t want to live. Even the ungodly don’t want to live in areas with high crime and constant danger.

If reports are correct, the people of Detroit repeatedly elected people who could not be trusted or who deliberately or inadvertently made poor choices.

Fourth, open your heart to God. Ask God to lead you and direct your life. Look to God for His guidance.

God wants to guide you through life. If we seek Him, He will give direction.

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2 Responses

  1. Many years ago now, I remember a pictures of a bombed out city in Japan and one in Germany along side a picture of a shining city, Detroit. Then some 30 years later there was another picture of Detroit along side those cities. The image hit home. Two shining new prosperous cities with a dull, depressing run down city between them. Our tax dollars at work? I think of ship building & Bethlehem Steel, the ghost towns on the East coast. Yet nothing changed and here we are today. Indeed, what have “we the people” learned.

    Your point is well taken.


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