by Richard Mansel, managing editor
We live in dire times economically. The statistics are stunning. Washington grapples with how to handle the economy while the citizenry grumbles.
“A new Pew Research Center survey finds a perfect storm of conditions associated with distrust of government – a dismal economy, an unhappy public, bitter partisan-based backlash, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials.”/1
“Just 22% say they can trust the government in Washington almost always or most of the time, among the lowest measures in half a century.”/2 American’s confidence in banks is down to 20%./3 The approval ratings of the President and Congress are perpetually low.
Unemployment is rising in 24 states and people are scared./4 One poll suggests that 54% of Americans say that someone in their household has been looking for work./5
The national debt in America exceeds $12.8 trillion dollars, which figures out to more than $350,000 per United States citizen./6 Nearly 80% of Americans believe that health care costs are going to escalate./7 Moreover, enormous tax increases are on the horizon./8
What can Christians do to handle the crushing state of our economy?
First, we must remember that God is still in charge and will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5). His power and majesty are eternal and not controlled by circumstances. We must hold diligently to his hand and cling to faith in him (Hebrews 11:6). He has to be the answer to all that we need.
Second, we need to be less materialistic. Dependence on simplicity will help protect us against the economic downturn. Thinking of clothes, cars and possessions as functional rather than to trumpet our wealth will humble us. We should praise God, not please men with our material goods.
Do we use our possessions in service to God or in baiting our neighbor to jealousy? Are they for our God’s or our neighbor’s eye? Must we always be adding to and grabbing the new thing, so we can gloat?
God will tend to our needs, not our wants (Matthew 6:25-34). This conflict is the heart of our problems in the prosperous West. We spend all that we have, live off credit cards and spend impulsively, as often as we can. Accordingly, we stand crippled with fear, doubt and week-to-week survival.
Jesus emptied himself and focused solely on the mission of God (Philippians 2:5-8). If we would simplify our lives and engage ourselves in glorifying God, more than ourselves, we will find true peace that God has for us (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Third, we can survive on the sustenance of prayer, while God is active in our lives (Romans 12:12). Christ is larger than any crisis and our faith will sustain us always (Romans 12:1-2).