Great economic thoughts...
We've just finished a 3 week series on handling our finances from a biblical perspective. I'm hoping that I can post video in the next week from last Sunday's message that I believe is one of the more important messages we can ever hear. It's so important to recognize that our position on finances reflects on the Gospel and the glory of God. Thinking through the economy, however, I also wanted to post a few thoughts that J.D. Greear posted this morning. Greear is the Pastor at the Summit Church in Durham, NC. Summit is a fantastic church in the Research Triangle area of the North Carolina that is agressively reaching people with the Gospel. Greear is one of the encouraging young pastors in Southern Baptist life and I thought his words on the economy were particularly insightful, and helpful. I would encourage you to consider them.
- The economic downturn is a great opportunity of Christians for evangelism. For many people, money is their god and their god just got crucified, and shows no signs of resurrection. This is the time to point people to the only real Savior who did get resurrected.
- Christians respond differently in times of crisis. In the early church, when disease swept the urban centers and everyone fled, Christians remained to help the sick and dying. In the same way, when many are now panicking because of financial crunch, shoring up their own interests, and turning to new hopes that ultimately will also disappoint, Christians should be asking, "How can we sacrifice personally to help people in need?"
- I've given faithfully to both the Summit Church and my 401K now for 6 years. Every penny invested in the Summit Church is showing 100-fold gain, while that put into my 401K would have been stronger had I invested it in bubble gum. Put your treasure where "moth and rust" can't touch it.
- As I explained on Sunday, we all tend to compare ourselves to our vocational peers (i.e., those who make about as much as we do), and see if we're living as well as them. If not, we are bothered. But studies consistently show the average American is living in significant debt, which means that if you choose to not live on debt, then you are going to be living 1 step behind your peers. And, if you choose to give generously and to save, (both biblical admonitions as well), that is going to put you 2-3 steps behind your peers. Living 2-3 steps behind someone is a NOTICEABLE difference. It is not simply going out to eat one less time or not getting dessert; rather, it affects where you live and the kind of car you drive. You should be prepared for this and at peace with it, resolved that living 2-3 steps behind your peers is worth it to stay out of debt and give generously.