Thursday, October 09, 2008

Christians and the Economy

Have you ever thought about how if Christians actually took scripture seriously we would probably do some harm to the way our economy presently runs. If we did not take on unneeded debt what would happen to all of the dollars, which are not really there, being spent on things that we don’t really need? What would happen to all of the businesses that rely on cash, or should I say credit, for items that really serve no eternal purpose and in reality no earthly purposes other than to fulfill some desire that should be met by God and not by stuff? Basically if we lived by the provisions of God we would live by a standard different than the world’s and that should make us look different

Our economy runs on the premise of buy now figure out how to pay later. So while there may be times one needs to enter into debt, such as for medical bills and the like, in large, most debt is not in that category. Even in buying a home, as we have seen recently, people go past their means and in reality take on more than they should. While I don’t expect any more than this from the world should we as believers not be different? Should we not seek to be actual stewards of God’s provisions instead of simply spenders of what God provides? Actually, in many instances we are presuming on God to provide in a particular manner when we go into debt. When we take on debt often we are not simply using God’s current provisions we are expecting the same or often more for the future. This mentality seems to be more about telling God what to do than relying on what He is doing.

When I watched the VP debate it was interesting to see that when asked about the “financial crisis” and its causes neither candidate could say that we the people were also to blame. Yes, Mrs. Palin said we need to, as we go forward, use our money more wisely but she as did Mr. Biden blamed everyone but the ones taking on the ridiculous loans. We are a people that feel entitled to much but as believers should we not see grace as extended to all of life and realize we are owed nothing. Should we not see what we have as a gift and use it to God’s glory and not primarily for our benefit. This is not saying one should not prosper and benefit from God’s blessings but I think that all too often our motives are prosper first give God glory later. We need to learn to be content in whatever our position as Paul was able to do in Phil 4:10-12.

I am not calling for Christians to seek to harm the economy but instead to seek to live biblically and not let the current manner of how our economy functions drive our actions. To simply say things like “debt is a way of life” or “that is just the way things are” is to accept the world’s ways instead of God’s. Let us be the pilgrim’s in this world we are called to be. I wonder if people such as the Amish are affected by the current financial situation as the average American is. If we lived within our means we would feel the crunch as the economy fluctuates but I would guess we would not feel it in the same manner others do. That is until the government and others decide that the indiscretion of some need to be shared by all.

Let us live in a manner that truly reveals contentment in God and not in “stuff.” Let us live as if we truly see scripture as not only inerrant and infallible but also sufficient for all of life. Lets us not be worried if we look different than the culture around us but instead be that which influences the culture for God’s glory.

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