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Vantage point


Certainty in uncertain times

Not far from our home there is a station with a sign boasting gas at 15 cents a gallon. It’s true. Of course, the station no longer dispenses actual fuel. It’s a roadside attraction on old Route 66, one of the many minimuseums that keep the history of the old route alive.

Gas prices that low are clearly history. The price of gas is breaking family budgets, especially for commuters, and keeping people close to home for vacations.

Rising food costs have also stretched purchasing power thinner.

Overseas, missionaries have been challenged by the economy. Some donors have cut back on missions and other charitable giving, and a weak U.S. dollar means missions budgets aren’t going as far as they once did.

Though strapped families find it difficult to know where to cut back, most can save money if they look hard enough. Our standard of living, as a nation, is higher than ever. People in Third World countries consider our middle class wealthy.

Many people maintain expensive habits, even while struggling financially. Cutting out cable or satellite television and expensive specialty coffees can save a bundle. Other similar measures can help. There is no need to keep up with the Joneses.

Hard-hit families need to resist the temptation to beat the economy’s downturn by running up the balance on charge cards. Now, more than ever, people need to resolve to live within their means. If they don’t, their own financial crises could continue even after the economy bounces back.

There are areas where Christians shouldn’t cut back, such as tithes, missions giving and trust.

Tithes belong to the Lord. Missionaries are making do with less while continuing to win souls. And never cut back on your trust. Trust God to meet your needs.

Jesus said, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. … Your heavenly Father knows that you need them” (Matthew 6:25,32, NIV).

Ken Horn

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