Yesterday I mused about how I didn’t see much change in the spending and consuming habits of those in my area. Yes, Jess, it does appear people are spending to abandon around here. We do have less of the credit crunch I believe since housing developments didn’t boom in this area.
But, let’s consider another related area. When times are tough on the pocketbook, one of the first things to do isn’t stuff for me, it’s donations to others. We know this because nonprofits are registering their lowest levels of donations since the weeks around 9/11 (when we suspect many stopped giving to their usual ministries to give to 9/11 victim families).
There are two possible reasons for this drop in giving: (1) people actually have less income and so give less, or (2) people give less for fear of not having enough income. Probably both are true. The challenge when we face tough times is to keep remembering to love our neighbors and not become fixated on our own needs/wants. It is true that we can love our neighbors without giving a dime but I suspect even our non-monetary giving decreases when our own anxiety increases.
This reminds me of cry of Proverbs 30:8-9: …give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise I may have too much and disown you and say, “who is the Lord?” Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.