The basic source for economic security
A person can experience economic security in his or her life only when his or her priority is the “kingdom” of God and “his righteousness”. Jesus told the crowd of people that followed him,
“You cannot serve both God and Money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.... See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:24-26, 28-33).
So the basic source for economic security in your life will be experienced as you live in a personal relationship with God in which he has priority!
Recognize the basic necessities of life
Jesus acknowledges in his above teaching that food and clothing are necessary physical resources for a person to sustain life. I think that physical shelter can be added to this list of the basic necessities of life. Every human body needs food in order to sustain its physical functions and protection from the natural elements of one’s environment that can cause harm. This means that anything beyond food, clothing, and shelter are only resources for a person’s comfort, not his or her physical survival.
Paul advised Timothy that...
“godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:6-10).
So when a person lives with his or her priorities on personal comforts and pleasures rather than being “content” with just having his her basic necessary resources, he or she is in danger of “ruin and destruction” and will not experience the economic security that comes from a life in which God has first priority.
Recognize and accept these basic economic facts of life
- Nothing is free in this world except the air one breathes or the water one drinks from a naturally flowing source or the rays of the sun, and they are not free if they are mechanically treated, conditioned, heated, or collected. There is no “free lunch” under any form of government.
- The rules of the market place cannot be effective manipulated or ignored for a very long time. Money has no function except to be spent, and its value is determined by the world’s market place.
- Men and women do not have the right to produce as many children as they may want to conceive.
- No one who is born anywhere in the world has the right to even the basic necessities of life. They must be provided by those who care for them or be purchased with earned or borrowed funds. Note the fact that thousands of people die every year from malnutrition and associated diseases, and these causes of death are not universal crimes.
- There are only six economic levels of people in the world, although
individuals may commonly function in some degree or another from
several different levels at the same time.
- Those who are independent producers who are able to provide their own needed resources for living.
- Those who are dependents of others whom they hope will care for them. These are primarily children or those in homeless shelters.
- Those who are employees of others who endeavor to provide for their own needs from their earnings.
- Those who are debtors to others who endeavor to provide for most of their own needs with borrowed funds or resources.
- Those who are slaves to others who endeavor to survive without any or many legal benefits or choices in their daily lives. Note that there are still thousands of slaves in the world.
- Those who are beggars who endeavor to survive by pleading with others to give them the basic resources that they need each day in order to live.
Take these practical steps to experience and to maintain economic security
Do not purchase any of the following commodities or items for yourself and your dependents with funds that you have to borrow; use cash that you have earned or saved.
- Food, desserts, drinks such as milk and juice.
- Clothing, diapers, uniforms.
- Rent or mortgage payments.
- Utilities, furniture and appliances, furnishings for home, landscaping.
- Taxes, insurance premiums to cover emergencies of life and health and liabilities.
- Childcare, nursing home care for the elderly.
- Car payments, car repairs, gasoline and other necessary fluids and things for the operation of a car.
- Personal grooming for looking good and feeling good, makeup, beauty aids, jewelry, tobacco, alcohol.
- Gym memberships, exercise equipment, sports equipment.
- Tools, telephones, computers, cell phones, I-pods, blackberries.
- Televisions, radios, CD players, books, magazines, videos, movies, theater tickets, concerts.
- Toys for children and or adults, games, boats, recreational vehicles, personal planes, guns and hunting equipment.
- Transportation tickets for trips, motel and hotel rooms, restaurants, sightseeing.
- Pets and everything for their feed and care.
- Non-emergency medical treatments and devices, medical co-payments, and regularly needed medicines.
- Loan payments for credit cards and other borrowed funds.
- Investments in stocks or bonds or certificates of deposit or other financial investments.
- Gifts and donations.
Do not build or buy a house that is located on one of the following risky sites without very adequate insurance:
- A flood plain.
- A beach front that is subject to violent storms.
- A bushy tinder box.
- At the base of a dirt cliff or steep insecure hill.
Do not expect the government to provide your resources to live or to take care of you throughout your life. No government is wealthy enough to do this or will have access to the necessary resources to do this for all of its citizens.
Conclusions regarding how to experience economic security
- Live from day to day in accord with what your cash assets can provide.
- Only borrow funds when doing so is necessary to purchase an initial home or to start a business.
- Save for emergencies.
- Recognize that money is only useful to be spent and that its value is always determined by the world’s market place and its benefits are all related to this world and they are only good during one’s life.
- Give God and his kingdom and his righteousness first priority in your life and trust him to provide you with the basic resources that you need with which to live. God loves you, and Jesus died for you to pay the cost to redeem you from Satan and the sins of this world, and Jesus does not want you to “worry” about economic needs. Be faithful and responsible stewards of all that God gives to you, using these resources to express your love for God and your neighbor (see Matthew 22:36-40) in ways that will be good forever, not just for your lifetime. In his basic statement regarding “Money” that Jesus taught to the crowd that followed him (from which I quoted at the beginning of this topic) Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
For further help with this matter of economics and giving God first place in your life, see these other statements on this website: “Introduction to what should be considered to be good”, “Sharing and basic economics”, “God’s work of redemption”, “What is Christian faith?”, and “The plan of salvation”.
The above Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.