In the 1992 American presidential election, a statement made about the economy resonated with voters—resulting in the election of Bill Clinton. To focus his campaign on what was the key issue on people's minds at the time, a campaign staffer said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” The economy of a nation impacts everybody in some way or another. It was true then. It is true today.
Panic is in the air right now as Americans watch their investment portfolios shrink each week. Since January of this year the stock market has shrunk more than 20 percent. Billions of dollars of wealth have disappeared. On top of this we are seeing inflation rise to levels not seen for 40 years. Real inflation is likely far more than the reported figures. For the first time in living memory American’s are paying more than five dollars a gallon for gasoline. Food prices send sticker shock to everyone walking into a grocery store today. It is a grim moment.
For you and me this is a time to be wise as serpents, not stupid. The economy impacts our daily lives and we are right to be concerned about what is happening. But it is not a time to panic and make foolish decisions. Now is a time to know the biblical principles of economics and develop more of a biblical worldview and approach to money management. Patience is at the top of the list.
This is not an investment newsletter. But right now we could all use some solid advice on how to act in a time of crisis. The Bible offers us the best counsel in developing strategies for managing our finances. Proverbs 22:3 Proverbs 22:3A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
American King James Version×and 27:12 tell us, “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences” (New Living Translation).
What precautions can we take? Reducing personal debt is one. It is imperative to live within our means and adopt a realistic view of where we are as a people. Sound fiscal management is tied to spiritual laws and principles found throughout the Bible. Jesus used money and wealth to illustrate eternal spiritual principles. When we align with those laws we can better understand God’s way of life. I am not talking about a “health and wealth gospel” but sensible principles concerning financial management.
Last week I wrote to you about how God’s world still works. A sound biblical view can help us frame our response to the present crisis—and it is a crisis. We are seeing events take place that experts have long foretold. It is not a time to panic or to be “stupid,” but wise.
This article from a recent issue of Beyond Today can help you understand the current wave of inflation. It’s title, “The Curse of Inflation: A Biblical View.” Take a few minutes to read it today.