In How Can America Survive? The Coming Economic Earthquake, I wrote:

In some respects, Americans are like a herd of charging cattle wildly stampeding toward a cliff, not knowing that as long as they stay in the herd, they are headed to their own destruction. As individuals, we can choose to leave the herd — there is still time for us to do so. The question is open, however, as to whether the larger mass of people will do the same.

In his book, The Coming Economic Earthquake, written in 1991, the late Larry Burkett saw the long-term consequences of government’s failure to reduce the national debt. And then he asked a penetrating question: “Will Christians be a part of the solution… or a part of the problem? There is basically no difference in how the average Christian handles his or her finances compared to the average non-Christian.” He went on to say, “Too often Christians think that because they are Christians God is obligated to keep them from all harm.”

Burkett pointed out, however, that if Christians are violating basic biblical principles in their personal and business finances, God is under no obligation to bail them out of situations he has specifically warned them against in the first place.

There are certainly a number of places we can turn to for advice on how to get our own financial houses in order. Burkett’s book provides excellent advice, as does Ron Blue and Jeremy White’s Surviving Financial Meltdown: Confident Decisions in an Uncertain World. My husband and I have benefited from taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University offer through our local church. Ramsey gives a seven-point plan for “financial peace”: 1) put $1,000 in an emergency fund, 2) pay off all debt, 3) set aside 3-6 months of expenses in savings, 4) invest 15 percent of income for retirement, 5) set up college funding for your children, 6) pay off your home early, 7) build wealth and give!

Certainly the last point of Ramsey’s plan should be our goal as Christians. Getting our financial affairs in order so that we’re not dependent on the government is a major step to financial peace. But giving God his due share is the first step in God’s plan for achieving financial peace. As Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house.” Then He promises to open the windows of heaven to us “And pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”

The present “fiscal cliff” will come and go, and the political pundits and media commentators will continue their daily updates on what’s happening in Washington, D.C. But this we know — in and through it all God is at work and His kingdom is both present and coming in its fullness. Therefore, let us take heed to Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Dr. Karen Gushta is a writer and researcher for Truth in Action Ministries. Her most recent book, published in 2012, is How Can America Survive? The Coming Economic Earthquake. She has also written The War on Children: How Pop Culture and Public Schools Put Our Kids at Risk (2009)and co-authored Ten Truths About Socialism (2010). As an educator, Dr. Gushta taught kindergarten to graduate level in both public and Christian schools in America and overseas. Her doctorate is in Philosophy of Education.

Publication date: December 14, 2012