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!!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


Yesterday I read a really moving devotional about compassion. I will not reproduce the text here, but the context was about a group of people having compassion on another person - at risk of their own lives and safety - during World War II.

Of course, any story that comes out of World War II is moving, because in war, ordinary people become heroes. However - the Bible defines the times we live in as a time of battle - even, yes, a time of war. Although our battle is not with the humans around us, we need to battle FOR them - in other words, have compassion on them, and be prepared to take risks to ensure their spiritual safety (as well as material/physical and emotional safety). If we look at Jesus, we have a supreme example of an eternal Creator who has compassion on us, His creation. He never walked away from someone who called out to Him, and He always had time to heal, and was willing to do so when asked. We are called to be just like Him.

This should make any thinking person stop, take stock of their lives, and begin to practice compassion - at what cost? a few minutes? a few pounds? but if the reward is eternal - what is the cost really?