We have so many in our church who spend money without discernment and give no serious thought to their financial future. How can I communicate a need to be prepared without sounding like an alarmist?
Worried about Freespenders
Dear Worried about Freespenders,
While I appreciate your concern, there is not a lot that you can do to give advice to those who do not want it. However, I will share what I have written regarding a similar concern, and maybe it will help you when the opportunity presents itself.
Being Prepared and Prudent
In 2020, I wrote a small book entitled Seven Gray Swans. It was a year of great uncertainty, with a limited vision of how we could navigate our way through a global pandemic and its economic consequences. My intent was to help others see obvious threats and make plans to avert their impact. I also wrote it to bring hope from a Biblical perspective. The Bible advises us to do scenario analysis and take reasoned action. Proverbs 27:12 makes this very clear: “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
In his book Virtues Work, Alexander Cummings helped me to grasp the importance of the oft-overlooked and undervalued virtue: prudence. He defines it as choosing the best path to a worthy goal. It is putting reason and reality, as opposed to your emotions or wishful thinking, in charge of your decision-making. Prudence avoids impulsivity, shallow thinking, and quick decisions, which are foolhardiness, while avoiding the paralysis of indecisiveness, which leaves you at the mercy of your circumstances. Few expected the level of sustained inflation brought about by the impact COVID-19 had on the economy.
As we can see now, some were prepared for the resulting storm of inflation. Others are still suffering from ignoring the warnings.
You Can Introduce Them to a Gray Swan
So, what is a gray swan? It is a term used to describe a potentially very significant event that is considered unlikely to happen but is still possible. Because there is a slight chance that the event will occur, it should be anticipated, for it could shake up the world, the economy, and the stock market. It could, therefore, greatly impact our personal economics or the direction of our lives.
Simply put, a gray swan is an obvious danger that we tend to ignore. The current inflation run-up is an example. Had we taken the risk seriously, we could have prepared before the big storm hit. Here are some practical steps to protect against gray swans or a major crisis. Perhaps you can use these to help your friends at church prepare for the unknown.
Increase Your Capacity to Weather Storms
Get Free of Encumbrances
Reduce Vulnerability to Loss by Diversification
Don’t Conform to the World’s Philosophies
Consider hosting a small group or inviting folks over to discuss these important issues.
If credit card debt is a burden, Christian Credit Counselors is a trusted source of help for a debt management plan. They can help one get on the road to financial freedom.
This article was originally published on The Christian Post on September 15, 2023.
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