As talk of more government spending to help bail out struggling homeowners spreads, I have to admit I am pondering what it is going to mean for me, my children and even my grandchildren. I know the money has to come from somewhere and that “somewhere” is current and future tax revenue. So, when the government decides to “bail out” the economy and help troubled homeowners, I know that they are doing it with my money (and yours).
I have been struggling to come up with a biblical way of thinking about this. Should I be angry? Many of the people I have talked with about this topic seem to be. Their mindset seems to be that it should not be our responsibility to bail out those who have not managed their money wisely. Why is the burden falling on us? They made their bed by taking out loans they could not afford, now they have to lay in it. Here is an example.
A friend and former professor of mine posted an entry on his blog the other day that really struck me. His words were not only honest and from the heart, but they seemed to bring a new, and I believe important perspective to this issue for those who want to think about it biblically. He points out that if we are thinking only about how this issue impacts us and how it is unfair for us to have to share the burden, then we are thinking about it in a selfish manner. Our Christian faith is based on the principle of putting others first and making sacrifices for others. Is this not what Jesus did for us when He took our sins upon Himself? He did not complain about how it was unfair for Him to have to take the burden when it was not His sin. He did it out of love and to set an example of how we are to love one another.
Here are a few verses that I believe are relevant to this discussion:
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:12-14 ESV)In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:10-11 ESV)
If we are to think about this issue biblically, we must at least consider those who need help and not just ourselves. We may conclude that it is still not a good thing or that there is a better way, but we cannot think of it solely on how it impacts us personally.
You can read my friend’s post here. It is much better than mine!