Choices determine economic direction
If we are going to change the economy of a nation, it is critical for us to start within the household.
Managing an economy goes beyond managing money. One of the failures in economic management is the focus on the money and finance mainly, while ignoring other salient areas such as time management, labour, human resources and family. Many leaders fail to focus on these areas also.
For example, family is one area that has been sorely neglected. As such, the decisions concerning the economy have not taken family into account. The Bible, which many are now attempting to advocate removing from the marketplace, is the best book to teach us about managing an economy. It is difficult for any entity to manage an economy of any size without the principles embedded within this book.
The Bible tells us to teach our children within the home how to manage the resources. It teaches how to avoid wasting resources. It teaches us about labour and management, and utilising human capital (Matthew 20; Matthew 25).
How can we change the economy or mindset of a people if we don't start teaching our children from within the household how to manage simple things such as water, light and toilet paper? Most people will be quicker to give their child a tablet or iPad for school than to enroll them in an ecology project or have them taught farming! If we are going to change the economy of a nation, then we have to be willing to accept the fact that God created the economy even before He created man. Hence, all that is needed to sustain man already exists (Genesis 1 & Genesis 2).
The next thing we have to teach children is that sin affects the economy - reducing profits and changes the original plan; bringing with it lack and poverty! When God created the universe, it was not His desire for man to struggle through thistles and thorns. The source of man's sustenance was never in food, but in God Himself!
Choices we make
Managing an economy is about the choices we make daily. Choices determine your future. For example, whomever you marry is a choice, so we must think carefully on that issue. The choices we make when we vote determine the economy of the nation. Do we vote for the sake of popularity? Do we vote for a party because our family votes for that party? Do we send our children to or attend a school/college because it is popular or because family member went there? Or, do we go where God directs us even if it is unpopular? (Matthew 6: 33)
Do we purchase goods because of their brands and are we willing to try an unknown or unpopular brand even if its quality proves to be better?
Do we invest in something because everybody else is doing it?
Recognise that following the crowd isn't always right!
While we know that choices drive demand, and that demand drives supply and sales; it is important to see things as God sees them; and we do that by seeking Him and reading His word to understand His principles.
For example, 'economics' in simple terms, is 'the study of human decision making - how to choose in order to get what is needed or wanted as well as what to do when they can't get want they need.'
Realise that the choices we make daily must:
Benefit the family.
Positively impact health and education.
Improve the quality of life.
How about being good stewards of what is in our care?
Contrary to popular belief, man is accountable to God for the decisions he makes every day, especially with resources! Billions of dollars go to waste daily because man refuses to seek God's guidance about how to manage the resource. Psalm 127: 1 says: "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain that build it ..."
The areas of education, sports and entertainment - which are in fact part of human resource management - were not being properly managed all this time and that has contributed significantly to the high levels of unemployment, lack of vision and an unavailability of opportunities at all levels locally.
Nations are now suffering because of the wrong choices they have been making and as a result, debt and borrowing continue to rise. We are borrowing when we should not be and we are giving away our land at the same time.
For changes to start, we can all be economists by starting to make the right choices within the home. When we start to make the right choices individually, then the collective benefits will be seen.
Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.