Wow, what a week we have had in world finance! The EU has had an epic event in history and we are feeling the domino outcome. Financial health is primary in this situation! We are all busy looking at our retirement savings and our livelihood for our future and trying to accommodate the changes to meet the years ahead as we had planned. For many this has created increased worry and stress. I, too, have been experiencing some anxiety as I see the roller coaster financial reports being put out on a daily basis.
In one of our hymns last week I found a resounding verse of what God would have me do! “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness. And all these things shall be added unto you. Ask and it shall be given unto you.” (Matthew 6:31-33).
Searching further in scripture, I found that the Bible has a lot to say on the topic of financial health. We have all struggled at times with how to be good stewards of our God given resources. We hear in Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 that whoever loves money never has enough money, as goods increase so do those who consume them.
A majority of Jesus’ parables directly address finances and material possessions. In 1 Timothy 6:7, we are told that God is owner of all, and in Luke 14:28 and Proverbs 13:18 we are told that life is a process and we should plan ahead using the resources God gives to us to learn about ourselves, depend on him, and provide for our needs through Him. We are unsure of what tomorrow will bring, so we need to create a stewardship plan for the future.
As Christians, we are guided in Matthew 25:24-30 to manage our material blessings in a way that is pleasing to God. The greatest challenge in doing this is to seek His help to manage using the guide in Hebrews 13:5 that tells us to keep our lives free from the love of money and be content with what we have.
I found a beautiful way to pray for this help in yet another hymn, Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me. You can find this in our hymnal, Lutheran Service Book, on page 722. I invite you to read the words as a prayer or a devotion often as a way of retaining focus in our troubled world.
As we celebrate our independence tomorrow, I urge you to save your bulletin today and pray the words of our closing hymn as you celebrate, safely, I add!
God bless America, and God bless all of you!
Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace