Confidence in a Credit Crisis
At our fortnightly prayer gathering last night, the boss, Hugh Palmer, gave some really helpful headlines from 1 Timothy, to help us put these troubled times into some sort of perspective. So for those who weren’t there, here are those headlines…
He started with a summary from somewhere of the cultural characteristics of the last decade or so, where we have been obsessed with the following:
- Freedom of choice – we are presented with a huge array of choice, but we not only take that for granted, we assume it is our right.
- Tolerance of choice – if life is just a matter of choice then we have no excuse not to tolerate the choices that other people make.
- Hard work for choice – people sweat and strive to earn to enjoy the choices that their rights have enabled them to be free to make.
As the credit crisis kicks in to the street, with job losses, inflation and general recession, we will find that we have less freedom because there is less work. So how to put this into perspective:
17. Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (1Timothy 6:17-19)
In the light of these verses we should aspire to and pray for 4 things (and they all begin with ‘Co’!):
- Confession (v17): we must recognise the idolatry of wealth and repent of our wealth-obsession. After all this crisis was proof, if ever it were needed, that ‘wealth is so uncertain’.
- Contentment (v17): Can we really trust God to be good and our provider God? Well because of Jesus, we can. We need to learn to trust that he really is enough…
- Compassion (v18): a credit crunch is no excuse to stop being generous (even if the financial value of gifts goes down). We still need to be generous in good deeds and time, as well as our resources.
- Confidence (v19): we should have a perspective that changes how we view everything. And that is found only through the one who came to bring us treasure that is not earthbound or primarily material.