by Dr. William B. Knippa
As a husband and father of three, I have been struggling to make ends meet, due to the general state of the economy. My income has remained steady, but the increase in my monthly bills, along with college on the horizon, has meant cutbacks in other areas—not the least of which is my church offering. I don’t want a lecture about tithing. Rather, I’m looking for some spiritual support and guidance for living in these economically stressful times.
It is often in challenging times that God gives us the opportunity to experience the security and peace that is ours in Christ. The apostle Paul says this: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6 ESV). Paul calls us to bring our burdens to Christ “with thanksgiving” for what we have, rather than focusing on what we don’t have. Recall as well Jesus’ words in Matthew 6: “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ . . . your heavenly Father knows you need [all these things]. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given you as well.” Our Lord Jesus is fully aware of the financial pressures we face, even as He is intimately familiar with all the struggles of our humanness. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we live our faith as best we can. This includes our efforts to manage our money in a faithfully responsible manner.
On a practical level, there are resources that teach money management from a Christian perspective. Many have found these to be helpful in matters related to budgeting, handling debt, charitable giving, and establishing Christ-honoring attitudes toward money and other material possessions. In addition, there are credit-counseling services available in many cities to assist individuals and families living with debt that is debilitating.
Underlying all is the security we have through the sacrifice of God’s Son for us. May His presence fill you and give you a peace the world cannot give, particularly in times of economic uncertainty.