How Should Christians Live In This Environment Of Inflation?

How Should Christians Live In This Environment Of Inflation?

Deacon John Low - 25 June 2022

Weekend Devotion: How Should Christians Live In This Environment Of Inflation?

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“Everything is so expensive now!” This is something we kept hearing recently, from others or even from our own lips. As the pandemic recedes, inflation is a growing concern on everyone’s mind. Higher commodity prices, continued supply chain disruptions and a tight labour market have pushed up the prices of everything from energy to food. In Singapore, economists and analysts are expecting local headline inflation to come in at 5% this year, up sharply from the previous estimate of 3.6%. In the US, it was reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in May grew by its highest level since 1981 and experts suggest that inflation has not yet peaked. Like the pandemic, inflation will impact everyone as our purchasing power erodes. The same 1 dollar we use to buy this quantity of products will not be sufficient for us to buy the same quantity in time to come. In other words, the value of money decreases. But ironically, as the value of money decreases in economics sense, the value of money increases in everyone’s heart as people start to worry about these rainy days.

 

Though worrisome, this is not something unheard of in Scriptures. In 2Kings 6: 24-25, we read that as Samaria was attacked, it brought about a great famine in the city, triggering a sharp increase in the cost of goods. Then, the people had to pay sky-high prices for unsavory items such as a donkey’s head or a few beans. In Rev 6: 5-6, we also read that the rider on the black horse, with a pair of scales, will bring about great suffering as a day’s wages can only buy a quart of wheat, compared to 16 quarts of wheat normally.

 

How should Christians live in this environment of inflation, where everyone’s concern is on livelihood, worrying about whether they have enough?

 

Learning from Jesus in 2Cor 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” Jesus identify with both our spiritual and human poverty. Hence, in this environment of inflation, we should all the more (1) identify with the poor, especially the poor in spirit and help them, rather than being just concerned about our own matters. Many people, including our fellow Christian brothers and sisters, will suffer under such circumstances, which are beyond their control. We pray for God to open our spiritual eyes in identifying them, the broken hearted, and move us to reach out to help them in practical ways. For we are called to be the salt and light of this world. In Mt 5: 16, Jesus said “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

 

(2) Be contented and simple. In the past 2 years of the pandemic, we can all agree that life can be simple yet full. Personally, I have less distractions from this world as the borders were closed, gatherings were limited, I get to spend a lot of time at home with my loved ones. Through these 2 years, I do not feel shortchanged, instead I grew closer to my family, to God and to the brethren in church. Similarly, I pray that as inflation hits us, we can be reminded from Apostle Paul’s words in 1Ti 6: 6-7, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” Paul reminds us that we are merely stewards of what God has blessed us with. We do not own our possessions forever, nor can we bring them into eternity. May our eyes be brought to what is truly important in eternity.

 

(3) Beware of other inflations. Though the increase in prices inevitably causes a lot of uncertainties in the hearts of men, there are 2 other inflations we Christians should be wary about instead. The first one is the inflated joy & satisfaction of this world. In this modern society, the work of the devil is to draw us sinners into endless pursuits of pleasures, so much so that we are unable to clearly differentiate our needs and wants in life. Many a times, we thought that we really need that something, we invested all our time and resources into it, only to discover that the joy is fleeting and our satisfaction short-lived. Before we knew it, we have the next goal in life again, and we continue in this vicious cycle, trying to fill this bottomless pit of ours. Every time, we are left wanting more, because the world overpromises and underdelivers. Such inflated joy & satisfaction are delusional and can never satisfy us, because we are not created to be. We can only be fully joyful and satisfied in our Lord Jesus Christ, like the Psalmist puts it in Ps 16:11 (ESV), “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” The 2nd inflation we should be wary about is our inflated self-confidence (over-confidence). On records, the fatality rates for car accidents was the highest not from newbie drivers, but from the experienced ones, whom were overconfident and hence complacent. Inflated self-confidence is the twin brother of pride and it breeds carelessness. We know numerous examples in the bible, Goliath who belittled David, and later King David himself who fell into the sins of adultery and murder. The bible is as if on repeat mode, warning us how sinners had fallen again and again because of their overconfidence, yet we never learn. Pro 16:18 tells us, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Let’s learn not to trust ourselves nor our experiences, but put our trust and confidence in God alone.

 

Lastly, to (4) Walk in faith. While people are worried about high prices in this environment of inflation, we Christians must be reminded that Jesus Christ had already paid the highest price to redeem us. If God can give us His only Son, what other good thing will He withhold from us? God uses half of <Mt 6> to stress enough that there is not a need for us to worry. He is our Jehovah Jireh, He will provide at the right time. Just like the famous feeding of the 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fishes, the disciples then were worried of the little they had, but they did in faith what Jesus instructed them to do, and we all knew what happened next. With Jesus, there is no lack. As we walk in faith, God will surely reveal his faithfulness to us.

 

I pray that in these troubling times, Christians like you and me will really live out the true hope we have in Christ, full of peace and thanksgiving, testifying God’s love and faithfulness evermore to this helpless world.

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Deacon John Low
johnlowcw@gmail.com

John is an ordained Deacon, who has been serving The Blessed Run Church. He is married to sister Rachel and they have two lovely sons, Noah and Jonah.

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