Summary: In part 2 of series, Your Money Is Your Life, Dave looks at building blocks of stability in troubling economic times.
Your Money Is Your Life, prt. 2
Wildwind Community Church
November 22, 2009
There was a little boy named Johnny who used to hang out at the local corner market. The owner didn't know what Johnny's problem was, but the boys would constantly tease him. They would always comment that he was two bricks shy of a load, or two pickles short of a barrel. To prove it, sometimes they would offer Johnny his choice between a nickel (5 cents) and a dime (10 cents) and John would always take the nickel ... they said, because it was bigger.
One day after Little Johnny grabbed the nickel, the store owner took him aside and said "Johnny, those boys are making fun of you. They think you don't know the dime is worth more than the nickel. Are you grabbing the nickel because it's bigger, or what?"
Slowly, Little Johnny turned toward the store owner and a big grin appeared on his face and he said, "Well, if I took the dime, they'd stop doing it, and so far I have saved $20!"
I’m glad you’re here this morning. I want to talk to you about this morning about surviving these tough economic times. You have come here having braved another week of the worst financial crisis our country has encountered since The Great Depression. This thing started like a year ago and you know what? This is the first time we’ve even talked about it. In fact I’m probably guilty of not talking about world events that often and there’s two reasons why. First is that talking about world events is hard to do without talking about politics. It’s not that I’m afraid of talking about politics, but I do live with a concern that somebody might miss my message, which is not ultimately about politics, but about a God who still lives, who is as active in the United States in the 21st century as he was in Palestine in the first century. Get into talking about politics and it’s likely that people will hear politics and not hear God. But God is both working through politics, and is way beyond it and past it and above it. God is both intimately concerned with the details of our country’s economy, and still able to work his purposes in our country and in our world. God is pained by our pain, but not in any way constrained by our constraints. The second reason I haven’t talked a lot about the economy is because I am convinced that if we are properly formed on the inside, if we have faith, if we are people who not only say there’s more to life than money, but are living it out every day, if we are truly learning to trust in God with all of our hearts and not lean on our own understandings of things, then the bullets can fly all around us, the crap can hit the fan, the crowds can raise their voices, the media can cover this and neglect that, the world can go wherever it’s going, and we can stand firm. If faith cannot do that for us, what’s the use of it? If it cannot bring us this kind of hope, then why bother? This is not the place where you come to hear a preacher tell you how to live in fear. This is not the place where you come to be reminded how bad it is and how desperate our times are. This is not the place where you come to receive a naïve shot of positivism to combat for a while the real truth that everything’s really, really bad. This is the place where you come to sing, and to hear, and to be reminded, that God is mighty to save, that God is sufficient, that his grace is enough, that if you have God, God is all you need, and if you don’t have God, you are poor no matter how much you have. So because of these two things I don’t often talk about world events. I picture in my mind a people who are learning to stand firm no matter what happens around them. I picture a people who are learning what is real – that this stuff we see going on around us, yeah it’s real, but it’s on the way out. It’s coming to nothing. Therefore, we should learn how to live with it because it’s reality for right now, but frankly we shouldn’t take it too seriously. The truth is that ultimately it doesn’t matter who just won the World Series, and ultimately it’s not gonna matter than for a few years at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, times were tough. What’s gonna matter is how you responded to those times, whether you faced them with courage and integrity, or whether you lived in fear. So I want to give you some things today that can maybe ground you, help you stand firm in the middle of whatever is going on around you.