It is no longer news that Nigeria’s economy is currently in a recession. While some politicians will like us to believe that recession is only a word, the unpalatable experiences of people that we hear everyday communicates the reality of the times we are in. Lots of people have lost their jobs because employers cannot afford to pay their workers, businesses have shut down because incomes no longer tally with expenditures, and there is only little money in circulation.
So, the question that struck my heart as I pondered on this issue and the many harrowing stories I have heard and read about how people are struggling to survive in the situation we have found ourselves is this: Are we expected to still do purpose when our pockets scream inadequacy and our stomachs exclaim want? Is there a way to thrive in our pursuit of purpose even in this recession?
First, I believe it is necessary for us to agree on the point that money is a necessity for the pursuit of purpose. There is a common saying in my church that money is the bicycle for the gospel. The reasoning behind this is simple. Money is the legal tender on this side of eternity. Without money, your options are limited. Money is not everything, but it is an important element of our lives. I once read that one-sixth of the gospels, including one out of every three parables Jesus told, touches on stewardship. He wasn’t a fundraiser. Someone has observed that Jesus dealt with money matters because money matters. For some of us, though, it matters too much.
So, in a recession when money is scarce and things are more expensive to buy, the effect on our pursuits of purpose can be very significant. Many people may not be able to host events as much as they would want to because they cannot afford it. Others will not be able to give as much as they want to because quite honestly, they don’t have. Yet, stagnancy in our pursuits of purpose because of lack is not God’s will for us. God’s plan is for us to live and operate in abundance and like I said earlier, understanding how to experience this as our reality ought to be our foremost preoccupation.
Contrary to what common sense may tell us, the time of recession is not a time to do less than we always do. Rather, it is a time to do more.
- We must GIVE more
Ironical right? Well, scripture says, “one man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” (Prov. 11:24-25 NIV) To stay afloat in our pursuits of purpose in these days, we must give more.
- We must LEARN more
The greatest asset anyone can acquire now is knowledge. This is not a time to wallow in ignorance, our pockets will suffer for it, and more importantly so will the people we serve. We must seek to know how we can do things more effectively and efficiently. We must forge relationships with people who are thriving so we can know what they know. We must know more.
- We must SAVE more
Research indicates that most households tend to spend 10 percent more than their income, no matter what the income level. To thrive in these times, we must change the narrative. Walking in abundance would require discipline. We must commit ourselves to spending less than we earn. We must save more.
- We must SERVE more
This point is tied to the first point. We must not compromise on the quality of the work we deliver in service to humanity. We must renew our commitment to consistency and persistence of purpose. Apostle Paul was a man who knew what it is to be in need, and to have plenty yet he did not relent in his pursuit of purpose. He had learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. We must too.
- We must TRUST more
This is the last but certainly not the least. In Jer. 17:7-8, scripture declares that “blessed is the man who trusts in God, the woman who sticks with Him. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers — never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.” So, more than anything else, our trust in God must be solid now and always.
On a closing note, I am confident of two things. One, the recession will not last forever. Like Bo Bennett has said, as sure as the spring will follow the winter, prosperity and economic growth will follow the recession. Two, to borrow the words of J. Hudson Taylor, when God’s work is done in God’s way for God’s glory, it will never lack God’s supply. I hope you find this post helpful to navigate these times. It is my sincerest prayer that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Amen. (Phil 4:19 MSG.)
Blessed? Let me hear your thoughts.
You matter to me always.