Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's the economy, stupid!

OK then, I thought I’d have a stab at addressing the world economic crisis. I mean, unless the news is punctuated by reports of the Defence Secretary’s resignation, or the clearance of an illegal traveller camp, or the capture/killing of Gaddafi, the current economic situation is the big story. In the words of Bill Clinton’s 1992 election campaign strategist, “It’s the economy, stupid!”

Will Greece default on its debts? Will the Eurozone survive in its present form? Will the Government’s deficit reduction programme do the job? To be honest, I don’t actually know the answer to any of those questions. You see, I’m not an economist. If you are after my opinion on whether the Bank of England’s latest round of quantitative easing (thanks, spell checker) will prove effective, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I really haven’t a clue.

So, you might ask, “What’s the point in him rather grandly proposing to address the world economic crisis on Exiled Preacher.” Good question.

Not so long ago politicians were promising an “end of boom and bust”. They held before our wondering eyes the prospect of endless economic growth and prosperity. Some wise old souls doubted whether this could really be true, but most believed that “things can only get better” (remember that one?). Then came the crash. Banks needed bailing out. Unemployment figures soared. Government cuts. Eurozone crisis. You get the picture.

Now, you’d be hard pressed to find something resembling a complete economic theory in the Bible. That’s not what the Good Book’s for. But for those who heed its message, the Bible has some pretty shrewd things to say about money. For example, “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” (Proverbs 23:5 NIV). Paul warns the wealthy against trusting in “uncertain riches” (1 Timothy 6:17). Our current economic woes are testimony enough to the truth of these words.

What’s to be done? Jesus counsels us, “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:20). Set your hearts on the true and lasting riches that come through knowing Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.

* Adapted from an article for November's News & Views, West Lavington Parish Magazine. 

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