Coates on the Crunch

January 9, 2009

Firstly we have to acknowledge, that we as Christians may be just as guilty as those who don’t know Christ in putting our trust and confidence in banks, building societies and Downing Street statements about the economy.

This is the time to transfer our confidence from institutions to the Lord Himself.

Secondly we might also need to acknowledge that a creeping greed has overtaken us as we seek to care for family, friends, and the church with nicer homes, holidays, clothes and even church buildings.

It is not that one day we were not greedy and the next, we were. It is like the story of the frog who when put in hot water will leap out but put into slowly heated cold water will eventually boil to death as the water heats up.

This is not a time to point fingers at others, but to acknowledge where as Christians we’ve been caught up with the spirit of the age – more, more and even more!

Thirdly, we must readjust what we do with our finances as we can’t live on more. All political parties offer more when deep down we know that we can only live on less. As an individual, household, family unit or church. The last thing to go should be our giving to God and his work of church and mission.

Lastly we should be asking God to be our provider. He doesn’t owe us anything, but as Jesus Christ taught He’s a father who gives good gifts. It is not God’s job to look after us, as many think – it is our job to look after one another with the resources He’s given us, of prayer, affection and sharing.

Many of us own “stuff” in our wardrobes, garages and homes that we really don’t need. From CDs to clothes, shelves of books to DVDs, kitchen utensils to garden equipment.

So instead of falling into the trap of being gullible and feeling the “new” is the only way forward, perhaps the corporate sharing of these simple resources could enrich other’s lives with minimum cost and maximum generosity and kindness.

So many of us are sitting on piles of stuff with Christian content that we’ll rarely listen to or read.

Buck the trend.

Share resources. Sell at reduced prices. Give proceeds to mission, church and the work of God.

2009 could be a time where we change and the world take their lead from us rather than us taking our lead from advertising, merchandise and the beguiling acquisition of more and more stuff.

Thousands of jobs will be lost in these sectors but we can retrain, redistribute skills, live by different values and perhaps remind ourselves of how grateful we should because of who we have and what we’ve got – rather than compare ourselves with others who invariably have more than us. A ruinous way to live a wholesome life.

A condensed version of this article will be printed in Share Magazine soon.