I was grateful the time our church gave to one of our elders, also a financial investor, to educate our congregation on Sunday. He explained some of the 'whys' of the economic streses, but also took time to remind us that God is bigger. Everything in life will shift and change, but our hope should be grounded in God's love and God's promises, which never fail. I believe that it's our job, in uncertain and scary times, to gently point people to the quiet hope in our hearts.
But I also think it's time for us to encourage people in tangible ways.
- Teach your friends, neighbors and family members to live frugally. Gather a group of women to teach about budgets, pinching pennies at the grocery store, cooking inexpensive meals, living simply... My friend Shannon lead a great discussion on "saving on groceries" at my church a few years ago - I learned sooooo much listening to other frugal women.
- Store a little bit of extra food in your pantry - just in case. I just bought extra rice, beans, and canned goods to have on hand in case of emergency. I didn't buy tons, but I wanted to have food for my family and my neighbors in case we can't get to a store. We want to be prepared to help serve others in my neighborhood if they need help in a crisis.
- Keep a little bit of extra cash in your house. We're a credit card family (we pay it off every month and spend carefully, i promise!), so we rarely keep much cash on hand. But with the uncertainty of the market, we've decided to keep some cash hidden for emergencies.
- Give generously. Keep tithing, even though it's harder. God uses that money to help so many people through churches and other ministries. It's also a great reminder for us to THANK God for his provisions and TRUST him to continue to provide.
- Pray for our country's leaders, for humanitarian organizations, for families to manage their finances wisely, and for people to trust in God when they are afraid.