Monday, July 25, 2011

Whose economy are you living in?

by Niki Turner

The United States is approaching "critical mass" when it comes to the economy. If our nation's elected officials don't figure out how to get along and communicate with each other like grown-ups, we're likely to face a major disruption of our national economy in the next few months.

It's pretty scary stuff.

Unless you're plugged in to a different economic system, one that operates on a higher plane than Standard and Poor, Wall Street, and the national debt ceiling. (The heavenlies are FAR above any debt ceiling set by man!)

photo by colarusso    

The media (left-wing and right-wing) are pushers and purveyors of fear and anxiety. Why? Because fear sells,   even better than sex, in most cases. People who are motivated by fear rather than faith are easy to manipulate. Our enemy (that would be the devil, not the liberals, nor the conservatives) is well-aware of that fact, and uses it to his advantage on both sides of the political fence, no matter which side you're on. 

So what are we, as Christians, to do? 

First, we must look to the Word of God for our precedent. 
Second, we must resist fear and trust God to perform what He has promised.

Here are a few verses to serve as catalysts for our faith in this time of economic uncertainty, words of comfort and power and purpose.

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,  for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
1 Tim 2:1-2 NKJV 
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
1 Tim 5:8 NIV  
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 
Eph 2:19-20 NKJV
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 
Matt 6:25-27 NIV
The Bible is rampant with stories - true testimonies - about God's supernatural ability to provide for His people in the midst of terrible economic situations. Consider, if you will, the Hebrew children in the land of Goshen; Elijah at the brook Cherith, the widow and the unending vessels of oil; Jesus multiplying the loaves and the fishes; and so on.

Our elected officials can storm out of as many debt ceiling talks as they like. Their childish behavior doesn't change the truth of God's word or His promises for us as citizens of heaven and members of His household. God remains constant.

I know it's easy for me to fall prey to the fear-mongering mindset of the world system. I have to meditate on the truth that I'm subject to God's economy daily, remembering His promises and trusting Him to take care of me and mine no matter what happens in the world. Some days are better than others.

What do you do to keep out of the fear mode?


  1. I've managed to stay worry-free by keeping my head in the sand. Oh, maybe that's not one of your suggestions?

    I know two things that don't jell:
    1) it seems impossible to think the government can spend MORE pretend dollars by upping their debt limit 2) if they don't it's going to be be really messy.

    So I go back to my own little world and ignore the theatrics in Washington D.C. The possible nasty consequences could affect millions of the elderly, poor and the military (and their families). Let us pray for a mighty move of God and a turn back of this country toward a more biblical budgeting process. Pray for the peace of mind for those in need and a return to faith. This situation is not too big for God and Christians should be poised to help.

    Our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Even if you're a vegetarian this should comfort you. :)

  2. I hate listening to the "news" anymore. It's not news. It's people ranting at one another and spouting their opinion. I would really love to go back to the days before 24-hour news channels. Journalists were able to focus on actual news rather than manufacturing news to fill time.

    Niki, that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with your post, but I feel much better having gotten it out of my system!

    It's a frustrating situation for everyone, but I'm pretty sure there will be enough self-interest for people to get their act together, even if it comes at the last minute. I guess I'm cynical enough to believe the back room deals have already been made, and that all the work-up is posturing.

  3. Niki, you've summed it up well--the only way to avoid fear is to immerse oneself in scripture and prayer. That said, history can also give us some perspective. Countries with debt above ninety percent of GDP (where ours is now) often default, but while this is troublesome, it does not mean total collapse. Nations have survived much larger defaults. We can, too, if it comes to that. But a Reuters report this morning said the likely outcome will be a debt ceiling rise combined with a US credit rating downgrade to AA from AAA. Considering the depth of the hole we're in, I think that's getting off easy.

  4. Niki--

    Not sure why, but I have no fear at all over what is going on in Washington. Perhaps I have my head in the sand as Deb suggested.

    I do know I feel more and more disenfranchised from my own government. Perhaps it's being conservative in a state more progressive and liberal every day. I feel not only out of place, but out of time. I don't feel I have a voice.

    On the other hand, it's made me remember that this world is not my home. My citizenship is in heaven, where there's no debt but the unmeasured debt we owe to our Savior. And no ceiling, for that matter either.

  5. I'm a news junkie, so yeah, I find the current situation frightening -- if I let myself think of it that way. My dh and I have lived carefully and saved as much as we could. We have a handicapped son, we wanted him to be taken care of when we're gone, ya know? And I watch what is happening, and I sometimes wonder why I bothered. Why didn't I just squander it and live in credit cards if the government is going to ruin the currency anyway?

    That said, there is another side to dark times: opportunity. Chuck Colson did a short (~3 minute) Breaking Point on the opportunity bad economic times presents for Christians. Remember yesterday's tea bag illustration? Nothing reveals what is inside a person like trouble all around on the outside. When people are well off, they don't need God. But in times of trouble, people search for something that makes sense in a world gone crazy. And we need to be there to show them that we have answers.

  6. @Debra - I had that very scripture about the cattle in my post and took it out at the last minute!
    You're absolutely correct about this: "This situation is not too big for God and Christians should be poised to help."

  7. @Lisa - LOL. I have that same rant about our current state of yellow journalism every day. In so many ways it has become "the tail that wags the dog."
    You know, I hadn't thought about the back room deals and the posturing... you could be right!

  8. @Kristen - Considering the number of nations in these debt situations, it makes me wonder what would happen if everyone just declared a year of Jubilee and canceled all the debts owed... started over fresh. Talk about a boost to the economy.

  9. @Barb - More and more people on both sides of the political divide are feeling disenfranchised, IMO. It's becoming less a case of conservative v. liberal and more one of common sense v. abject stupidity.

    LOVE THIS: "My citizenship is in heaven, where there's no debt but the unmeasured debt we owe to our Savior. And no ceiling, for that matter either."

  10. @C.J, Excellent point! I believe that's very true about God making opportunities for us in these days.
    "For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising." Isa 60:2-3
    THAT'S good news!

  11. I pretty much avoid the news these days. As you say, it's mostly people screaming over each other, more interested in "winning" than giving actual facts.

    But these are unsettling times. Politicians are vastly more concerned with keeping their places of wealth and privilege than doing what's best for the people they represent.

    But God holds all this in His hands even now. When I start worrying about what will happen and if my money will be worth anything when I'm too old to work, I always remind myself of Psalm 91:7--

    A thousand may fall at your side
    And ten thousand at your right hand,
    But it shall not approach you.

    He will take care of His own. :)

  12. Well said, Niki. Just about the only news I watch anymore is on the local channel, just to find out what's going on around town and how hot it will be. The thing is, when it comes to politics and our government in general, I don't believe I can trust anything anybody says. Everyone has a personal agenda, everyone is spinning the facts to favor themselves... so why watch the news and get upset over something that may or may not be true?

  13. Niki, I pray about it and try not to pay attention to the news. Another one with her head in the sand.

    Actually, though, I do that for a reason - it makes me so mad. These people are getting paid to do a job, and before they threaten to withhold someone's medicare check (which they can't do, btw, or they'll be breaking the law) they should forgo their own paychecks.

    I think it was very irresponsible to make that threat in the first place. How many elderly people have been worked into a state of anxiety over that careless threat?

    Also, the parallels between today's situation and that of the colonies from 1763 to 1776 are startlingly similar (with the exception of British occupation).

  14. @DeAnna, YES! Psalm 91 is one of my all time favorites! No matter what happens, God will take care of His children who listen and trust Him.

  15. @Jen - I get most of my news from the comedy channel these days.

  16. @Suzie, I know what you mean. It can be overwhelming to listen and watch.
    I, too, would like to see our elected officials take the lead, refuse to accept their paychecks, turn down their free healthcare and other benefits, and refuse to receive any support from any PAC. If anyone's "service to our country" should be on a volunteer basis, it should be that of the politicians!

  17. No matter how big or terrible things get, we will prevail. There is nothing to fear but fear itself... Etc, etc. Faith and truth will always protect you from fear; that's exactly what those two things are for, no?

    No president is intolerable nor is any congress. We appointed them and we can change them if we stop voting them into office. We gave survived every party ever elected and we will survive thus one as well. Fear is less powerful than you think.

    This is a democracy, isn't it?

  18. @Anonymous,
    That's correct, faith is the reciprocal of fear, and where truth is known, there is freedom.
    I have to agree with you... it doesn't matter who's in office. God is bigger. Paul's words about proper response to the government were made under the reign of some of the most vile leaders the world has ever known. If we'll do right, God will do right by us!

  19. Yeah, I get mad when they say if there are any cuts, the elderly and the disabled will be out on the street.


    That's the ONLY thing that can be cut?

    There are billions of dollars wasted on non-essential things our government pays for. Why terrorize the weakest among us by making these kinds of claims?

  20. I try not to think about it too much. My God's promises to me are the same no matter what the government does. I think it's important to keep giving, be good stewards, and then trust the rest to him. We really have very little control over the situation, so I don't see much point in worrying.

  21. @DeAnna, I see the same thing on every level of gov't. In our district the schoolteachers make less that $30K a year, while the super makes more than $100K. Something is WRONG with that picture!

  22. @Dina,
    Yep, that's exactly what I was hoping to get across today. We're subject to God's economy, not whatever nation we live in, or which political party is in power, or any other natural thing!


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