So there is quite a bit of nervousness out there these days with an uncertain economic landscape on the horizon for 2009. I for one have spent a lot of time thinking about and reading on that subject. I spent the first few weeks of this economic downturn habitually going to CNN Money and checking what the markets were doing, which in hindsight seems silly since I don’t have any major investments to speak of. Why I mention that though is to admit that I was guilty of buying into the media hype and worrying myself with something that is by and large out of my control.
Then a couple weeks later, one Sunday morning at church, my pastor said this “if your faith is in man's economy rather than God's Divinity your life will always be marked in anxiety and uncertainty.” That hit me hard because I realized I was worrying more about man’s economy and not focused on God’s divinity.
Ask my wife, I am a tight money manager. I avoid debt, and I’m a “how much is in savings” kind of guy. But I know that I am not alone in this. So I want to admit that I need to constantly be looking to the word to keep myself motivated to be Godly with what I have - not hoarding or being wasteful - and I want to encourage you to do the same.
We live in a culture of accumulation and that is brought into sharp focus this time of year. So let’s scratch the surface and take a moment to look at what God thinks of accumulation when it comes to money and stuff. My favourite parable in the Bible is Luke 12:16-21. It’s the story of the farmer who had good crop and had in such abundance he tore down his barns to build bigger ones so he could store all that he had and take life easy. Every time I read that it hits me so hard. Then when you combine that with Matthew 19:24 you have a pretty clear picture of God’s stance on the matter. A few other impactful verses for me are; Matthew 6:24 and 1 Timothy 6:10.
Assuming you read all those verses allow me to share some personal conclusions. With what is predicted for 2009, I am really working on my heart and attitude more than ever. It becomes clearer to me as I get older that I have to free myself from my sense of entitlement so I can walk on a more righteous path. I don’t want to be building barns in my life when I can be helping those in need around me. I don’t want to come to the end of my life knowing that my course was mostly determined by some paper, metal circles and some numbers in a computer somewhere. Anything that I hold on to holds me in kind with as much force or more than I hold onto it. So which master I hold and have holding me is my choice.
When I look in the mirror and see a 5’10”, 175lbs. man, give or take 20lbs (emphasis on give and figures may change based on holiday “snacking”), then look at the eye of a needle, being grateful and generous with what I have always gets a lot easier. So please, be encouraged by this. Look to God’s divinity first realizing this life is not even a drop in the bucket of eternity.
Be freer of burden in 2009. Merry Christmas and see you in the New Year!