My grandfather (Papa) and I were talking one day in the front seat of his old pickup truck about the Great Depression and my fear as teenager that it could happen again. “I wasn’t afraid because I had nothing to lose.” he told me. He smiled and assured me that if it ever happened again in my life, I would survive too. I remember how much better I felt hearing from this man I loved; who had lived through what my teachers in school described as a terrible period in American history.
Papa had nothing to lose so he kept farming and providing for his family. All seven children and his wife came through that difficult time and they all loved God and loved one another. He was a successful husband and father during a crisis.
I’ve thought about that conversation frequently. The fear of a global economic meltdown is causing some to panic. Throughtout the week, people have called me asking me what I thought and some have asked for my advice. Unsolicited advice is unwelcome advice. So what I offer here is just some of my personal thoughts if you would like to read them.
God has promised to take care of the needs of those who trust him. Often our real needs are quite less than our felt needs are. You are more valuable than the birds who work every day to find and harvest the seed and insects that God provides for them. You are worth more to God than the hills that God clothes with lilies and He will clothe you. If you worry you damage yourself more than if you simply learn to trust God.
Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 (NLT)
As you submit daily to the authority of Christ (Kingdom) in your life, seek above all else to share the benefits of His kingdom with others. Share the peace, joy and love of Christ instead of the panic, paralysis and poison of fear and doubt.
I once was priviliged to spend a day with Larry Burkett at his North Georgia Retreat Center. He said that when the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began, it eventually recovered and those who didn’t panic survived and prospered. Of course Larry was emphatic that you should avoid all debt except for purchasing a home that you could afford and then pay it off.
So my thought are simply these:
- God will take care of us.
- Keep His Kingdom first in stewardship and service.
- You earn the money so put a little aside for yourself before you spend it.
- Learn to simplify. It’s a joy to be free!
- If you are in debt work on getting out.
- Don’t flee the market you’ll lock in your losses. It will eventually recover.
- Look for those you can bless.
At Woodland Church, we offer throughout the year a stewardship study called Good Sense. Everyone who has completed the course has come away with a better understanding of Christian stewardship and a greater confidence regarding managing their finances and life. I hope that your church offers something similar and that you will take advantage of it. Stewardship studies are not for people who are poor financial stewards it is for people who want to do better. The wisdom and knowledge God gives us increases our confidence especially in uncertain days.
Thanks for taking time to read my thoughts. What are your thoughts?