There is a single word that has overtaken contemporary US society, one concept that defines life in 21st century America: Security. Online purchases, firearms, national borders, airports, software, elections—none of these can be used in a sentence without the word “security” somewhere being invoked.
So much for the days when a statesman dared say, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” Because now there is everything to fear. Cars, computers, houses, politicians, pharmaceuticals, and wars are all marketed with fear as the motivating factor. Nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to economics.
But to tell you the truth, if you are trusting your money to keep you secure, you probably should be afraid. Don’t get me wrong. We all need a few dollars to pay the bills. Even a handful of investments, mutual funds, and IRAs are good for as far as they go. They just can’t go far enough.
Why? Because once you have a little pile of dough you have to go on guard duty; perpetual protection mode, always on the wall, always peering out at the economic boogeymen, always defending, hedging, and hoarding. This produces mind-racing, palm-sweating, turf-defending worry, something about as far from peaceful contentment as one can get.
It’s as elemental as this, really: our level of peace will depend upon what we depend upon, no more and no less. If the source of our security and well-being is this world’s economic promises, we should hire better money managers, take more medication, and stuff more gold coins under our mattresses. But if our subsistence is Christ, then no, life will not be easy, but the source of his strength is endless and the peace he offers surpasses all understanding.
Now, this doesn’t mean we build a bunker, stockpile canned goods, and buy an arsenal. That’s just more of the same fear and anxiety run amok. No, we joyfully live in this world, but recognize it for how fragile it is. We see that ultimately it cannot meet our deepest needs.
That responsibility belongs to God, because it’s not a matter of if our stockpiles will fail us, it’s a matter of when. That’s not fear mongering, it’s simply stating that trusting Christ to give us what we need and sustain us is not nearly as dangerous as trusting a system that is bound to collapse.
Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, blogger, pastor, and author of multiple books. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.