In today’s volatile political climate, the last thing anyone needs is more commentary, so be assured, this is not another partisan political post.  Bear with the illustration for a moment to get to the deeper application.


This is one estimate of the National Debt of the United States of America. Precise numbers are difficult to pin down due to different accounting practices and that the debt is growing rapidly, but I’ll just use that figure for the sake of this illustration.

14 trillion dollars! That’s a lot of zero’s on the end of that figure. In fact, so many that it’s really hard for anyone to truly grasp just how vast it is and how much of a disparity there is between national income and spending.

But I recently came across a social media share that makes this picture easier to understand by simply reducing the numbers in scale.

Take a second to look at this.

National Budget

US Tax Revenue $2 170 000 000 000
Federal Budget $3 820 000 000 000
New Debt $1 650 000 000 000
National Debt $14 300 000 000 000
Budget Cuts $38 500 000 000

Now remove eight zero and think about this as more of a household budget:

Family Budget

Annual family Income $21 700
Expenses $38 200
New debt $16 500
Credit Card Debt $143 000
Budget cuts $385

writing-104091_1920That makes things much more clear, doesn’t it? I don’t really know if these numbers are a completely accurate representation or not, but the point I’m trying to make is that when you reduce the size of this massive number and then give it a common, familiar frame of reference, it becomes much easier to grasp and understand.

Did you know that’s very similar to what God did by sending Jesus to earth? The mind of man is finite. Limited. Imperfect. So even when we try, we are unable to grasp Someone so large and complex as God. He is so far above our limited experience that we can not understand Him, so majestic that we can not behold Him, so enormous in scope of His power that we can not approach Him.

That was until the incarnation. When Jesus took on human flesh, and was born into this world, it, in effect, “reduced” the “size” of God and put Him into a frame of reference that we could more easily understand.

The Apostle John understood the ramifications of Christ’s appearance on earth and said told us that:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1,14

And many years later he wrote to new believers about his personal experience with Jesus.

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3

112John’s eyewitness account went beyond simply identifying Jesus as an historical person, and described this man with whom he had personal experience was none other than the Author of eternal life. (1 John 1:2)

The entrance of Christ into the world altered humanity’s concept of God as being so vast and complex as to be unknowable and instead, helped us see Him as close… as One who, through faith, can be known and loved. (1 John 1:3)



15 thoughts on “Simplified

  1. Our pastor used a similar analogy when he was talking about the greatness of God. There is so much about Him we never see or need to experience, but He is great and mighty! Thanks, Karen, for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

  2. Sometimes the simplicity of our Savior’s love makes it difficult to understand. It is hard to comprehend the free gift of salvation. I am thankful for God’s love and His amazing grace. I am humbled and blessed to have accepted His free gift. Thank you for this poignant reminder of what an awesome God we serve. Have a wonderful weekend Karen and may God bless you and yours.

    1. I agree. When you really stop to think about God’s unconditional love and how He came for us when we didn’t even care at all about Him, it’s overwhelming! But so grateful for such a simple message that draws us to Him. Thanks Horace!

  3. Excellent analogy!

    I will remember this every time someone mentions our National Debt:

    “When Jesus took on human flesh, and was born into this world, it, in effect, “reduced” the “size” of God and put Him into a frame of reference that we could more easily understand.”

    Praying this same inference seeps into the hearts of many who hold power in our world.


    1. That would be wonderful if our leaders would realize the “size” and “scope” of God and humble themselves voluntarily! Unfortunately, I fear that there will be a more abrupt realization waiting for most who lead us these days- and for many who follow. Continuing to pray for grace and mercy!

  4. This would be great if you had stopped at simplifying the national debt by comparing/contrasting it w/ a family’s budget. But to use that contrast to illuminate the enormity of Jesus is brilliant!

    1. Praise God for even a wholly inadequate illustration to help us grasp a tiny amount the depth, and breadth and height of love of God which is OURS in Christ Jesus! To God be the glory! Thanks for stopping by, Rachel!

  5. The simplified figures show that without God’s involvement the US government has no clue how to reduce the national debt. When shown in this easy to understand way the budget cuts are laughable. In the UK our national debt is much smaller, but I would think it is probably the same as the US in comparison to the size of the two countries.

    1. How difficult it is to grasp just these large numbers, and even the largest number is, indeed, dwarfed by our infinite God! And the most amazing fact is that He, who is so Great, cares about each of us! Thanks Kathleen!

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