When financially chaotic times come unexpectedly, like we are currently facing, fortunes can be lost and fortunes can be made.
Things are looking quite grim at the moment when you look at the big picture of the Australian and global economies.
So how do we make sense of our personal, family, business and even church finances when chaos is the main rule at play?
Alex Cook is a financial planning expert and the founder of Wealth With Purpose. He recently spoke with Neil Johnson on Vision Christian Radio’s 20Twenty program about how to exercise Biblical wisdom during this period of uncertainty.
“The economic tragedy is that many economies are shutting down. I think it’s close to 70 countries that are in some form of lockdown.”
“What that does from an economic perspective is that businesses close, no one is earning any money or very few people are. And it’s enormously disruptive.” In Australia, more than a million people have been put out of work or had their casual hours removed in the space of just a few weeks.
“It’s enormously disruptive on people’s lives. But also I know it sounds very negative, and people get very concerned by it, but there will also be enormous opportunities I think in this in so many ways.”
For Christians, the opportunities exist in both investing and also in showing Jesus’ love by caring for those around us.
“If your job is not at risk and you haven’t suffered any setback at all, then this is a chance to actually shine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better chance for us as Christians to really rise up and shine and show how much we really care for other people.”
We’re all familiar with the story of the Good Samaritan, and the fact that he had money to give to be able to help the man who was left for dead on the side of the road. If you neglect the idea of earning and wealth increase, you won’t be able to have the capacity to be able to give financially.
However, some may feel guilty about seizing an opportunity in the stock market during times like these.
“I don’t think anyone should feel guilty,” Alex continues. “I understand the logic that we don’t want to profit from other people’s misery, so I can completely understand where people are coming from there.”
“I tend to look at it and say to myself, ‘what do I feel that God is showing me in this season? What are some of the things as Christians we should be trying to learn from this? And what are the new opportunities?’”
“Maybe you’re a Christian business person and all of a sudden your business has been affected by what is going on. Well that’s an opportunity to reflect and say ‘are there new markets here? Are there new opportunities? How can we change the services that we offer to people to actually meet new needs?’”
“And then of course there is the investment side of it, and that is, when things like this happen where the stock market is down 30% from its high.”
“When things like this happen what we typically find is that many good quality investments that have been oversold become good value again. And the same applies to other assets, not just the share market.”
“I’m not suggesting that today is a good time to buy, but there are going to be times where opportunities will arise to buy good quality assets that Christians can invest in for the long term.”
“It’s about keeping your eyes and ears open, and being sensitive to the way that God is leading you as to how you handle your money.”
Continue listening to Alex Cook’s full conversation with Neil Johnson in the podcast below.