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During times of economic turmoil, who you gonna believe?


GAINESVILLE, Ga. (BP) — These days some economic experts appear to have started believing financial concepts that sound vaguely familiar – perhaps even biblical.

Turbulent times call for God’s stability, so I’ve put together a sampling of Scriptures that are important for us to survive economic hard times.

If you’re a Christian and you haven’t been following God’s biblical financial principles, isn’t it time that you did? After all, “Who you gonna believe,” bankrupted businesses and folded financial institutions – or God?


Christian commitment

Christian commitment involves stewardship (management) of time, talent, and money. Jesus spoke about commitment and gave us a clear outward indicator of our inward commitment: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt 6:21).

Treasure refers to the way we use money and possessions and reflects spiritual truth in a material way. It is the same as the sowing-reaping principle that the Apostle Paul uses when he says: “Remember this: the person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Cor. 9:6).

Talent speaks of intelligence and natural gifts. Christians often waste their intellect and abilities by the pursuit of material success. Success is not a bad word, as long as it’s a byproduct of a life dedicated to serving God.

Time is that “everyone has 24 hours in a day” thing. If Christians would honestly assess their available “net-time” (not including sleeping, eating, and so forth) as 100 percent, what percentage would be spent in the first priority of seeking God?

Choosing which master to follow is a decision each of us must make every day. Are you committed to weigh every decision against God’s Word and follow the path He requires of you?


Christian contentment

Contentment is an attitude. Some people seem to have no regard for material possessions. Others drive automobiles that cost more than some houses.

Many have suddenly discovered that abundance doesn’t guarantee contentment – it’s a matter of attitude. Poverty also doesn’t eliminate the possibility of being content.

True contentment requires establishing some basic guidelines:

· Have a reasonable standard of living. Just because God provides a surplus doesn’t mean you must spend it or use it any way you choose.

· Have a habit of giving. In God’s economy, He has arranged a system Christians need to practice. Paul explained it like this: “At the present time your surplus is [available] for their need, so that their abundance may also become [available] for your need, that there may be equality. As it has been written: ‘The person who gathered much did not have too much, and the person who gathered little did not have too little’” (2 Cor. 8:14-15).

· Have priorities. Many Christians are discontented because others are doing better. “Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’” (Heb.13:5).

· Have a thankful attitude. It is remarkable that in America we could think God has failed us materially. “If you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t brag and lie in defiance of the truth.

“Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic (Js 3:14-15).


Christian concern

If you have never lived on a budget – never practiced biblical financial planning – then this certainly is the time to do so. Check for help.

You must reject a fearful spirit, because Satan’s tool is the question, “What if?” Don’t be trapped into a fearful spirit or hoarding because of the “what ifs” and uncertainties of the economic future. Stand up to the fear. After all, “I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).

Seek God’s will for you and trust His promises. “And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).

No one knows what the economic future holds. However, God’s biblical truth is ideal for the good and not-so-good times.

As Christians we have been given God’s assurance that He will not leave us as orphans. God is our heavenly Father and He never deserts, disappoints or disregards His children. Who you gonna believe?