Friday, 26 December 2008

Money Matters

With the onset of the global financial crisis that was triggered by the sub-prime issues in the United States several months ago, I realised a few things that bear consideration. These thoughts are by no means set in stone, but are just my perspective on ... I guess ... life in general. I would just like the reader to note that, to be honest, I haven't paid much attention to the financial crisis, and really know very little about it and it's impact on the world. For sure, I know people who have lost money through it ... and I am aware of the reasons for, and understand, the events that have occurred.

The first thing that came to my mind when these issues began was that the world has built up an illusion of security by creating the financial system on which it runs. If one thinks about this for a while, one has to arrive at this conclusion. If one assumes (this is a theory of mine) that the earth is 10 000 years old ... and then we think that many 'financial products' such as insurance, pension funds, medical aid schemes, and minimum wages, amongst others, have evolved in the past 100 years - and many of them within the last 50 (!), that is really a short period of time in our history (and even relatively shorter if one wishes to believe that the earth is even older). So really ... it's pretty arrogant of us to so completely rely on this false security that we believe money provides. And I think that many people are beginning to find out that their finances aren't quite so stable as they imagined them to be.

This whole line of thinking just made me think about what money really is, how it runs our lives, and how we should understand it from God's point of view. We need to realise that God is far bigger than this world, this universe, and even our our needs. The Bible teaches us that God is willing and able to provide for all of our needs, even more so than He has always done for all animals, insects, and birds that have lived, and still live, and will live, on this planet. The Bible also says that we cannot serve two masters - and in particular, the example is given that we cannot serve both God and money. Because money is the beginning - or the door to - material possessions, all of which tend to last even less than our lifetimes.

Something that we rarely get a grip on is that none of our possessions are really 'ours' - so to speak. Everything belongs to God, and what we have, whether it be money, or house, furniture, car, whatever, is His, never ever ours. If one understands this, one can begin to get a grasp on the fact that, whatever salary we earn, we will always have what we need - as determined by God. And is that really a bad thing? If we place our lives into the hands of the One who created us, the One Who knows our every thought and our every need, is it really a bad thing to rely on Him for the fulfilment of our needs? He is boundless, and this means that, in terms of providing for our needs, His provision is also boundless. We just need to learn to trust that God knows what we need ... and that if what we think should be happening isn't happening, then there's a reason for that.

Thoughts on these musings would be much appreciated!!