What else can be written about this week but the financial crisis? Panic has spread throughout the world, and everybody watches for the images which inevitably follow at such times...the picture of a distressed man in a suit intensely watching a screen of coloured figures. Few of us publicans understand what the screen says, we do however know what it means. It means tough times ahead for most. Yes, the giant bubble of debt finally burst and spewed out a hideous mess of anxiety and uncertainty.
So what are we to make of it all, and what are we to do?
Well, I am no economist, so I cannot answer that question with any authority. I can however agree that it is partly a result of our excess. The debt throughout the western world has been built largely on a combination of excess and childish ambition. We want the world because we think it is all so pretty and we gamble our future on it. We take what we think we need. I think in the coming years many will start to re-evaluate the definition of need.
I think it is also partly a result of living for ourselves. It amazes me that so many Christians will be affected. We have stored up so much wealth here on Earth and we will most definitely cry when it is taken away from us. Let's learn the lesson, repent, and never make the same mistakes again. Sure, you will lose something tomorrow, but you will lose something that you possibly never needed at the expense of someone else who has been waiting patiently for your wealth to trickle down.
Which brings us to the third point. The real losers in all of this are still the poorest among us. Tough financial times could prove disastrous for its effect upon donations. So while we feel the pinch, we must recognise that it is that much worse for those below us. We must continue to give a portion of what we have, whether we feel we can or not. This is essential, and the antidote for the culture that brought us to the economic downturn in the first place.
Perhaps it won't be so bad, or at least not in Australia. I am assured our surplus will carry us through the worst of it. My concern is not that we won't survive. My concern is that we will, having missed the lesson inherent in every trying time.
In the meantime, please pray for those affected, that hope will remain in their hearts and that God's glory will be revealed.
Have a great week,