Here’s what Fox News, CNN, and NBC are not going to tell you about the economy:
It’s going to be all right.
I am no financial expert. I hold no degrees or formal training in micro or macroeconomics. So how in the world can I say that it’s going to be all right? Because I don’t trust in paychecks or Wall Street to provide for us. God may very well use those things to provide, but ultimately he is our provider.
As you may know, we develop a team of financial partners to fund our salaries as well as ministry expenses. This team is made up predominately (over 90% both in number of givers and in percentage of overall funds) of individuals and families (as opposed to corporations or churches). People who have jobs and mortgages and newspapers and cell phone bills and access to Fox News. People who are unsure of where the US economy is going. The direct result is that when the news media starts to shout “CRISIS,” we feel it. We get shortened paychecks.
The other day, as I began fretting (again) about how we are going to pay all of the upcoming medical bills from Benjamin’s recent surgery, I was confronted by my own lack of faith. The fact of the matter is that in 6 years of full-time vocational Christian work, I have never missed a meal and never had to go into debt (with the exception of these recent medical bills). God has provided every single time.
As I look to the future, I don’t know much. I don’t know if the US government is going to continue to bail out companies with money we don’t actually have (700 billion more on top of 10 trillion in debt just doesn’t make much sense, despite the fact that politicians on both sides of the aisle are for it). I don’t know if we are going to pull out of this economic mess or not. I don’t know if we are going to have enough financial support to stay on campus.
But what I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that it’s going to be all right. God has not left the throne to go grab a YooHoo from the heavenly 7-11. He is still in control.
Does that mean that the economy will rebound? I dunno. We as Western Christians have to be careful to not confuse God’s blessing with our financial bottom line. There are believers in other parts of the world who have literally nothing, but are blessed beyond measure. Jesus Himself was a homeless man. So, if God takes everything I have away, all of the cars and clothes and computers and gadgets… it just means I will then have what Jesus had.
If the economy turned around tomorrow, there would be a one-line story about it in the paper, and on the cable news. Then, they would turn their attention to the next big crisis. Why? Because good news doesn’t drive up ratings! They get more dollars from Gillette and Monster.com and whoever else is advertising on their station when more people are watching. And more people watch when there is a crisis (perceived or actual). That’s the reason people on the NBC News are not encouraged to say “It’s going to be all right.”
So please, don’t do your giving (or anything else) based on what CNN says about the stock market. Live (and give) based on who Jesus is, and what he has said. Do you really think he’d let you go hungry? And if you are living worried (like I often am) about financial issues, maybe it’s time to throw a brick through your TV and read your Bible instead.