Economic Crisis. Financial Loss. These words seem to be on everyone’s lips (or in everyone’s thoughts).
I am watching family after family bite the dust. Some of it is due to ridiculous overspending. Some of it is due to bad financial advice. Some of it is due to ignorance and peer pressure. All of it, no matter how it happened, is hard to witness.
Foreclosure. Bank repossession. Bankruptcy. Liquidation. Job loss. Layoff. And more.
What happened to you? How did you get caught in the snowball? Don’t answer this. It’s personal.
We have a situation on our hands too. But I am not worried. I’m not. I simply refused when I heard the news in August to allow myself to succumb to worry. I prayed over it, gave it honestly and whole-heartedly over to my God, and opened my heart up to the peace He had in store for me. It’s working. I highly suggest it.
But I see the damage it can do. I see the burdens others are trying to handle. I see it.
And I have a problem with something. I am just as guilty as the next guy too, by the way, so I’m not on a soapbox by any means. You can read many of my comments on other people’s blogs to see that I seem to be speaking out of both sides of my mouth. But yesterday I had a change of heart. Today it is sinking in more and more and more. What is it?
At first I threw off on the “idiots” losing their houses and cars because they flat can’t manage their money or live within a budget. I was coming down hard on those who were running to the nearest relative or bank or attorney or realtor for help because they had bitten off more than they could chew and now they were seeing the start of a long downward spiral. I was being so judgmental.
But someone I love is being hurt by this crisis. Is this person innocent? Not even close. But would I help so and so if I could? You betcha!! You certainly can bet on it. It breaks my heart that this family has to move and the man has to work so hard and the kids are stuck in the middle. It breaks my heart that the irresponsible spending has caught up to them so much that they are going to have to move in with another family just to survive. And the family taking them in has to readjust their lives to accommodate them. Just when it seemed they would finally be empty nesters after so many years of raising their family; now they will help and again have their halls filled with the laughter of little children and the pitter patter of little feet. And their privacy will suffer. And their budget will suffer. And their utilities will go up. And so will their grocery bill. Everyone will be affected. All of them. Even the kids.
That is what propels the latter family to help the former family. Pure unconditional love.
As followers of Christ we should be that kind of love to those who need us.
There is a trend I am noticing and it bothers me a great deal. Despite the current financial demands on certain people and families (some their fault, some not their fault), I have seen many, many Christian bloggers pulling the guilt card on other Christians trying to make them sponsor this child or that child or give money to this cause or that cause or buy supplies for this organization or that organization. Fine. It’s all fine to suggest that someone could help with those needs. Suggest. But the brow beating needs to cease.
Some of us Christians are trying as hard as we can. Some of us who aren’t losing our houses or cars or watching our finances spiral downward are in our “cushy” positions because of our ability to live within our means as well as give generously as God has called. Leave it alone. Right now, as far as I can tell, there are many families in our own neighborhoods who need our help. Most of us can name at least one person in our family who needs help. That should always (and I mean always) come first.
Sponsor your brother or sister or cousin or aunt or parent who needs the $35.00 extra for groceries. Pay half of their utility bill. Buy their kids a box of diapers or lunch at school for a month. Fill their gas tank up. Do those things first.
Then, if God puts it on your heart, give outside of your own realm of influence.
If God has given you abundance you should give to others. But this does not mean you have to give to who “they” are urging you to give to. If you ignore your own family you are doing a great disservice. Family first. Everyone else can stand in line.