Faith and finances mixed in time of need

We’re hearing of turmoil and increasing trouble as the economy continues to descend dramatically. How do people deal with this kind of crisis? Two experiences I’ve had might shed some light.

At 17 my father took me to the bank to open my first account. He kept it simple. “If we deposit $100,” he said, “and right away you spend $105, you’re in trouble. But if you spend $95 and save $5, you’ll be on safe ground.”

I blurted out, “Well, what if I only spend $75 and save $25?” I’ll never forget his response. “Honey, if you can live by that principle, you’ll always be in control of your finances!” To this day I’ve followed his instructions. The result: solvency, self-respect, peace of mind.

The vicissitudes of life, however, can catch us unawares, and we find ourselves forced to face this unhappy fact. Years ago our family had some horrendous financial reversals.

We were in a rental then, and one afternoon I was near panic, wondering how the rent would be paid. It was due shortly. I recall thinking of a verse from Psalms: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10). Continuing to calm myself, I opened my Bible to the Lord’s Prayer. The verse that stood out in my great need was, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).

One Bible commentary said it was a sin to look to tomorrow. God meets our every need today. That is enough!

Assessing our situation, I thought how true. We had a roof over our heads, clean sheets on the beds, and a pot of homemade chili simmering on the stove. All needs were met for that single day. What a humbling lesson to live in the moment of now.

I felt the heavy mental weight begin dropping away. I stopped worrying and being overly anxious. My desire was to be right with God, and that meant losing the fear and trusting Him completely. In my study, I discovered a corroborating statement that heartened my faith. “Never ask for tomorrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment. This sweet assurance is the โ€˜Peace, be still,’ to all human fears, to suffering of every sort” (“Miscellaneous Writings” by Mary Baker Eddy, http://

That very peace washed over me with fresh hope and courage and joyful expectation. I knew I’d reached a higher plateau of spiritual understanding where I could experience God’s law of infinite supply operating in my life. And so it proved. Our financial obligations were all met, and our circumstances began to improve.

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Today my goal is to “owe no man anything but to love one another” (Romans 13:8). I see this love as unconditional; love that excludes the exploitation of others; love that includes the liberating compassion of Christ. Embracing this idea can bring God’s bountiful blessings to all mankind.

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