Surviving the Financial Crisis

by Kent Heaton

A financial crisis occurs when the crisis of man's soul is dependant upon the financial condition of his heart. Samuel Johnson said, "The love of money has been in all ages, one of the passions that have given great disturbances to the tranquility of the world" (Rambler, October 6, 1750). How remarkable man is as the only creature that puts such worth and value upon printed paper. An animal foraging through a wilderness will pay no attention to shiny pieces of gold to search for food and water; knowing that food and water give life, not gold or silver.

Dee Bowman said recently that more people are upset about their earthly treasure than they are about their heavenly treasure. If people worried as much about their soul as they do their money what a change would take place in the world. Jesus plainly reminds us of the value of both: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).

If the focus of our life is only upon the treasures of this life then we are men most miserable. We can gain great wealth one day and lose it the next day. There are no guarantees when it comes to riches. The value of our riches can only be measured by the fear we have of losing them. Riches in heaven can not be taken away by man. Our reward in heaven does not fade away and no one can steal it away. Paul affirms, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day" (II Timothy 1:12).

There is nothing within the arsenal of money that can give you what God can give. The possession of riches is not sinful but securing our hearts to the temptation of riches is what will bring about woe and misery. "But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (I Timothy 6:6-10).

How do we survive the financial crisis? Trust in God! "Be ye free from the love of money; content with such things as ye have: for himself hath said, I will in no wise fail thee, neither will I in any wise forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5). "The image of Caesar is money, the image of God is man. Give money to Caesar, and give thyself to God" (Tertullian, De Idol. 15, c.211 A.D.). Our hopes and dreams should not be gauged by the flow of Wall Street or our local bank. The sure deposit of our hearts within the gates of God's house will bring about security that is everlasting.

Life is not about riches and certainly in death riches remain. The proverb says, "Shrouds have no pockets." The man Job lost all his earthly wealth but retained his godly wealth - and died a richer man because of it. Where our heart is will be where we find our treasure.