Stress. Anxiety. Fear. These words capture well the state of mind of many of us in America today. We have witnessed dramatic market losses, the collapse of the world’s largest insurance company, and many bankruptcies and mergers. Every day seems to bring another piece of economic uncertainty.
A recent survey found that over three in four Americans are stressed about the economy and their personal finances. Half were worried about providing for their family’s basic needs. Over half of respondents reported feeling angry and irritable, and reported lying awake at night worried about this. The report concludes that, “The declining state of the nation’s economy is taking a physical and emotional toll on people nationwide.”
Increasing consumer debt, declines in savings, lower income growth, and a volatile stock market are all a part of our economic insecurity. We have lived in a society that tells us “you deserve it now,” whether or not we can afford it or really even need it. All of us have struggled with these issues at one time or another. They are important issues that we cannot ignore. This is why, over the next few weeks, we will be having a churchwide study and worship emphasis called Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity. During this time we will explore what the Bible teaches us about financial management through corporate worship. We’ll hear expert advice and stories about what others have learned by working through financial challenges. Each week we will provide you with some practical tools you can use to assess your financial situation and develop a financial plan with a biblical foundation.
At the conclusion of the emphasis, we will have the opportunity to make personal commitments of our offerings to God through our church in the coming year. We will consecrate these commitments in the worship service on two consecutive Sundays. I hope you will join us in the coming weeks as we look at how we can manage our financial resources and truly experience simplicity, generosity, and joy. Pastor Rich