One of the things the pandemic has hit hardest is our pockets. There are very few Australians who haven’t suffered some financial harm due to COVID-19. And in these turbulent times, we know business owners are especially vulnerable. But Rosie Kendal, CEO of Christians Against Poverty, says some people are hurting more than others right now.
Talking to 20Twenty’s Neil Johnson, she said many of CAP’s clients were already doing it tough before this trial, and are even worse off now. “It’s the start of probably a lot of people really struggling, and over a significant period of time, rather than it being something that’s here now but we’ll have got over it in the next few weeks.”
Even after someone has lost control of their finances, it can take at least 18 months for them to ask for help. “And the reasons for that are shame,” Kendal said. “I can solve this on my own. I want to solve this on my own. I got myself into this mess, and I need to get myself out of it.”
But this particular mess clearly isn’t down to individual failure, and we’re all in it together. Kendal believes this shared ordeal could teach some of us to be less judgemental toward those who have found themselves in poverty. “My hope and prayer is that people really would recognise that there have been a whole lot of circumstances that have happened that are out of our control.”
For Christians facing financial strife, the most important question is what God would want us to do with our money. For some people, Kendal says, at the moment it’s a matter of crisis management. Getting food on the table has to be the first priority. But for those of us who are in a better financial position, it’s more important than ever that we think about how to be good stewards of the resources God has given us.