As interests rates rise and investments decline and seemingly gazillions of dollars disappear in the thin air of the internet, there is, of course, much hand ringing. Some of this is serious; there are those who cannot or soon will not be able to afford the necessities for healthy living. I do not mean to be dismissive of the very real trouble this might all mean for some people, especially those leading overly leveraged lives.
I read a worried-sounding article trying to explain how value is understood and how money vanishes like smoke. Sure, it will probably come back to those who are patient, but the point of the article, and I take it to be somewhat accurate regarding economics, is that sometimes, in certain conditions, when it comes to stocks, houses, and money itself “the value just kind of disappears.”
Of course there is a sense of panic in the air when this happens.
At the same time, if I can say it without sounding like an annoying uncle saying “I told you so!” There are two ways the bible helps us in such moments and so we Christians ought to be ok despite the bit of chaos. Biblical principles are not just about us living better lives (though they may help us do that) but our ability to handle the principles well and live them out is an important element in our ability to demonstrate ways in which our faith impacts our lives in meaningful ways. As one freaks out about money another is calm, calmness in certain moments speaks louder than words.
So how does the bible help us?
Firstly, the bible contains tons of good financial advice everything from lending to family and friends, and being charitable, to putting aside a bit for a rainy day. So at the most basic level the bible could have helped us prepare for these days and it can help us avoid precarious positions as we move forward. Seriously, look into biblical principals of money and you just might find yourself finally getting ahead. I want to leave you to do this yourselves because the work itself will reinforce the will to put teachings into practice (I hope).
Secondly, we know that there are things more precious than gold and we are empowered to live ours lives as though that is true. Scripture tells us that having a good partner in life is better than having rubies, it tells us the word of God itself is more valuable than gold, it tells us that the kingdom of God is so valuable one might sell one’s land to get a taste of it. In other words, regardless of how well (or not well) we have followed those biblical money-management tips, we have plenty to be grateful for and to enjoy.
By way of example a personal aside: I have often marvelled at how much I enjoy sitting still in silence, it is free, easy etc. and so counter-consumerist, and yet deeply satisfying and I sometimes think why do I ever do anything else? Just a personal example of the joys of faith outside of finances.
Christians have been rich (too rich) many of us still are. Christians have been poor (too poor) many of us still are. The Holy Spirit has long helped us to be content either way.
Christian, how we respond to economic news is part of how we represent the King to the world. When we get greedy and overly excited about money (or crypto:) that says something serious about our souls and what we really believe and value. When we get despairing as money evaporates that also says something about our spiritual wellbeing.
Money comes and goes (that is pretty much its purpose) but the word of God, the love of God, the forgiveness-mercy-and-compassion of God, they remain.
Wherever you find yourself on the financial spectrum be assured that I am praying for you and you aren’t alone.
All that being said, if you need a bit of help in the coming weeks, please be sure to ask, the benevolent fund is ready:)