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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Economic Hard Times? What Does God Say?

Hi Friends,

I recently wrote an article that talked a bit about some Biblical insights on how to approach economic hard times. I thought you may be interested too, so here's the opening of the article. To read the whole thing, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Answer in Economic Famine—Serve First
by Marlo Schalesky

The economy. It's on everyone's mind. Will I get laid off? Will I be able to find a new job? Will my business go bankrupt? Will I be able to pay my bills? How can I make the money stretch? Those are just a few questions facing business people today.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, real GDP decreased at an annual rate of 3.8 percent, according to this report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce. Since December 2007, employment has gone down by 3.6 million, with approximately half of those jobs lost in the three months of November 2008-January 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that the unemployment rate spiked to 7.6 percent in January 2009. And in the midst of these economic downturns, a November survey by the Barna Group shows that giving to churches and other charities has sharply decreased.

But is that how the Bible tells us to respond to economic hard times? Is it okay to pull in, look out for number one, take care of ourselves before we take care of others?

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:31, 33, "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' … But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

But what does that look like in real life? How does it apply in an economic famine? Perhaps the story of Elijah and the widow from 1 Kings 17:7-24 can shed some valuable light . . .

TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE, CLICK: http://www.christianitytoday.com/workplace/articles/attitude/theanswerindconomicfamine.html