The Rule of 70
I think I spent 9 weeks of the summer bragging about how much sunshine we’ve had, without a drop of moisture – but I guess I forgot where I lived! In the past two weeks we’ve practically been flooded with 6 inches of rain, 40mph winds and an EF1 tornado only an hour away. No, I didn’t get out and chase the tornado for reasons that a good storm chaser would understand, not to mention wind speeds around here were only strong enough to produce a half decent West Texas Dirt Devil. I know that rain is half of what makes this place so beautiful…so no complaints here. However if it’s still raining by next week’s blog, you might be in store for some heavy duty whining!
Speaking of water, there’s a formula called the Rule Of 70 when investing, known amongst the financial sector in corporate America. This rule actually spans a lot further than just financials, so bear with me.
In simple terms, you take the number 70 and divide it by the interest rate of your investment. The answer to the equation equals the number of years it will take to double your investment. It’s a pretty cool rule! If you want to scare yourself using the same rule, apply it to the interest rate on your credit cards. Yah, not so cool!
Aside from this, what is interesting about the Rule Of 70 is the premise on which it stands – whatever asset you have 70% of, the 70% will always sustain 30% of whatever liability you have. In other words, 70 sustains 30. For example, lending institutions will tell you that if you maintain 70% capital, they will loan you up to 30% debt.
Think about this: 70% of the earth is water, sustaining 30% land mass. 70% of our body is water, sustaining 30% mass. 70% of the scriptures tell of the mercies of God sustaining 30% of everything else. Of the 7 different personalities God gave to people at conception (Romans 12), 70% of humanity is found to be merciful, sustaining 30% of personalities that aren’t! Interesting isn’t it?
"Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy." Matthew 5:7
It is said that there once was an older man walking the shore of the beach after a big storm. Along his walk, the beachfront was covered with hundreds of starfish washed ashore from the stormy waves. Before long, the elderly man came upon a young boy that was eagerly picking up every starfish within his reach and with all his might hurling them back into the ocean. The man stopped and watched the boy for a moment, smiled, and then said, “Young man, you cannot pick up every starfish and throw it back. Look at the hundreds of starfish! What you’re doing won’t make much of a difference.” The boy stooped down, picked up another starfish and while throwing it far into the ocean he replied, “I made a difference for that one!”
Powerful story when you think about it. In essence, there really was no way the young boy could save ALL the starfish, but he did save the ones he reached out to save. That’s mercy – giving out of who we are to help those who can’t help themselves – including those who we consider undeserving of our help. Like the young boy, what matters is that we help those within our reach. Let me just say, if 70% of scriptures speak of God’s mercy, than 70% of God’s character is mercy. Yes, there’s a time for God’s correction and judgment, but that only makes up 30% of who He is, and probably 30% of what man needs. God knew what man needed most. Without His mercy we would be as the starfish washed ashore of the barren beaches of life. It was His mercy and love that gave us life. I guess you could say that mercy is the precursor to life.
"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'careful,' you find yourselves cared for." Matthew 5:7 (Message Translation)
I know that if I was offered a $20 bill I would gladly quickly accept it. Even if you folded the $20 bill in half, I’d still take it. Even if you folded it 3 times, I would still be happy to accept it. But let’s say that instead of folding it, you took the bill and crumpled it up in the palm of your hand. Imagine crumpling it so much that it’s hardly recognized. Do you think I would accept this severely crumpled $20 bill? Well of course! Why? No matter how crumpled, a $20 bill will always retain its value. That’s the same way God’s mercy views mankind. No matter how crumpled, folded or worn out your life may be, in God’s eyes your value never changed. Mercy will always reach past the outward to discover the value. When somebody knows they are valued, something inside of them comes alive regardless of how crumpled or worn out they might be. That’s why mercy is the precursor to life. When we care enough to recognize the value of those around us, that one act of mercy is the beginning to them experiencing life. As the Message Translation puts it, at the moment we are full of care for someone else, Jesus said we will find ourselves cared for!
Who are your starfish?