Question: "How should a Christian respond to a bad economy?"
Answer: When faced with a bad economy that threatens job security and savings accounts, it is natural to feel trepidation and some degree of insecurity. That said, a Christian can be at peace during times of economic downturn. Here are three good ways for Christians to respond when the economy is less than ideal:
Continue to practice wisdom.
The Bible is filled with wise principles about money and work. Laziness is never a good thing; we know that a lazy man who refuses to work will have nothing at the time of harvest (Proverbs 13:4; 20:4). Diligence is rewarded with wealth (Proverbs 12:27), but massive wealth brings its own trouble (Proverbs 13:8). Gaining little by little over time is wiser than gaining a large sum all at once (Proverbs 13:11), but toiling and laboring endlessly to gain wealth is not the action of a discerning man (Proverbs 23:4). All of these principles, plus many more to be found in Scripture, are tried and true and will be useful in a bad economy as well as a good one.
Remember God’s economy.
Certain principles will always be true, regardless of one’s economic situation. Cheerful generosity will bring a harvest—although the reaping may have to wait until the world to come (2 Corinthians 9:6–7). Giving to the needy carries a reward (Matthew 6:4). God never promises that we will be wealthy in this world, or even that we’ll always have as much as we want, but He does promise to supply our needs, along with giving joy, peace, and spiritual productiveness to those who have His Spirit (Galatians 5:20–21; John 7:38). If we seek first the kingdom of God, all necessary things will be added to us (Matthew 6:33). Our priority should always be spiritual. Christians are compared to soldiers in a war; soldiers are not concerned with civilian pursuits while they are engaged in combat (2 Timothy 2:3–4). A bad economy will not be of too much concern for a soldier, because his mind is on other things. This is the attitude a Christian should have toward money matters. Of course, we are to manage money wisely and be generous, but it is foolish to place trust in money or anything else in this world that is so easily destroyed and lost (Matthew 6:19–21).
Trust in God’s provision.
When savings accounts begin to dwindle as a result of an economic downturn, we can easily be tempted to fear, wondering how we will be provided for in the future. However, God has promised to provide for us, no matter what economic situation we are in. He fed Elijah with food delivered by ravens (1 Kings 17:4–6). He caused the widow’s cruse to not run dry and her bin of flour to always be full (verse 16). God even cares for the sparrows and feeds them; He will not fail to feed His children (Matthew 6:25–27).