I’m sorry America. I was on vacation last week and completely disconnected from news and look what happens. We’re having a historic meltdown of the country’s financial system as we know it. It’s all my fault. I’m sorry.
Seriously, after being disconnected on local, national, and global news, I’m catching up on stuff and still trying to understand what’s going on. So, I have some questions for you:
- What is going on? Why is this happening?
- What do you think of the bailout?
- The average person is already impacted by the economics. Two people at church this past Sunday shared they got laid off…both work in the financial sector. How is this current Wall St./financial meltdown affecting you?
Money has a role in all of our lives. But events such as this remind me again how idolatrous the money machine can be for all of us. This includes me. Here are some questions to help us re-focus how we as Christians can engage with money as a tool rather than a “god.” Like many of you, I struggle and constantly try to check my heart and stewardship.
- Is it your money or God’s money? Are you the owner or steward [manager]?
- Do you make decisions based on money or by seeking God’s guidance first?
- Do you honestly believe that God can provide for you? Simply, do you trust God?
- Would you be willing to work for less money if you felt that God was leading you to a lower paying job?
- Do you constantly worry whether or not you will have enough money?
- Do you constantly fight over money with your spouse or family?
- Are you constantly envious of wealthier people?
- Do you give joyfully, faithfully, and sacrificially to the work of the Kingdom including your local church?
- Do you spend more than you earn, rely on credit cards or loans, and find yourself drowning in debt but with no plan?
- Are you a slave to the Upward Mobility mindset: You want more. You need more. You must have more.
As I try to survey the financial crisis that we’re in right now, I’m reminded of human GREED and our desire to engage in Upward Mobility. In short, we all want MORE. The average person wants more; spends more than they earn and can afford; but still wants more and thus, seeks loans, quick fixes, and credit cards. The financial institution loves people to be in debt; they make money off people’s debt; they give out loans to people that are often unable to pay back those loans. Accountability for corporate executives is abysmal and at times nonexistent and their “compensation” is surreal. And this cycle goes on and on until something snaps…and a perfect financial meltdown storm ensues.
Despite what Gordon Gekko [played by Michael Douglas] so charismatically says, greed is not good. Even greed needs accountability.