But whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease without dread of disaster.
I have heard it said that you can get a PhD in finance just from reading the book of Proverbs. It is filled with verses of wisdom on handling money and possessions in almost every chapter.
During this difficult time as we are under stay at home orders, some people are fearful of getting sick or even dying from this horrible virus, and that is understandable. There is a very real risk for many Americans. But many more are under financial stress. As I write this, nearly one and a half million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus and over 88 thousand have died. But, over thirty million are unemployed and that’s not counting the underemployed or the struggling small business owner that may end up closing his business forever.
There is great fear of what the future holds, but what we really need to do is hold on to is God’s promises.
In January, we offered the class “Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University” on Wednesday evenings. In that class, Dave extolls the virtues of having an emergency fund. An emergency fund and a budget, those are the two most important financial things that we need in place. I know what you’re thinking; It’s a little late for that emergency fund advice now. And you’re right. But it is a good piece of wisdom to store up for the future (double meaning) when we get through this pandemic.
So, what should we do right now? Well, I think that budget idea has the greatest value right now. Make a plan and stick to it. This plan needs to be written down and then it needs to be followed. If you can, put cash in envelopes and only spend what’s in the envelope. See what expenses can be cut altogether and what can be scaled back. Can you save on utilities, can you cut things that once seemed necessary but now seem like a luxury? Maybe you can find some part-time temporary work to bring in additional income.
Another struggle for many people is known as retail therapy. What is retail therapy? It’s spending money to make yourself feel better. And, yes, it’s a real thing. There is real science behind it. Buying stuff helps give us a lift when we are suffering from anxiety and depression, and we are all suffering from anxiety and depression right now. But the high is only temporary and soon we are suffering and need to do it again.
My final word is this: If you are doing all you can and still are coming up short, come to us. Don’t let your pride stop you. We are here to help support you with tangible needs or counsel or advice. We have many people in our church who want to help as well.
– Pastor Andy Laub