Not since the Red Scare of the 1950s have Americans been so paranoid. In the U.S., pundits point fingers at Democrats and Republicans, lenders and borrowers, Wall Street speculators and Washington regulators. The solution? One expert demands increased spending, while another decries excessive debt.
Economic downturns seem inherent to modern economies. But this downturn was aggravated by a weakened housing market that broke both indebted homeowners and the banks backing them. The economy was victim to two types of greed: a love of money that drove foolish banking practices, and a “get something for nothing” mentality that encouraged “easy” home ownership.
The biblical principles of personal finance are straightforward. Neglect of them helped get the world into this mess, and it is even easier to ignore them when hysteria strikes.
Christians should not worry about what is ultimately in God’s hands (Matthew 6:25–34), but we should still follow godly counsel for financial matters (Proverbs 12:15):
- Work hard and live within your means (2 Thessalonians 3:6–12).
- Avoid debt (Proverbs 22:7) and make every effort to escape it.
- Diversify investments (Ecclesiastes 11:2). Putting all your savings in the stock market or all in precious metals are equally foolish.
- Give generously (Matthew 6:19–21 and Luke 18:18–25) even if your income is small (Luke 21:1–4).
Consider the current downturn a blessing in disguise: an opportunity to admit our reliance on God, reassess our financial priorities, and reflect on the transience of worldly wealth.
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