By Brenda Black
In the U.S., grit was born out of the Great Depression! The enduring folks who remember those desperate and sparse days have tried for decades to impart prudent wisdom to generations that followed. But have we heeded their advice or their example? Whether you are stubborn and selfish or just careless on matters of money or faith, it's time to get smarter for “wisdom is found in those who take advice.” (Proverbs 13:10) Your deliverance begins with Great Depression guidance.
Gregg Koep, a blogger at “Not Buying Anything” (NBA), summarizes the Great Depression Survivors' sentiments saying that “People who lived through the depression often gained a new outlook on life. Many survivors still hold the same virtues today, so strong were the lessons learned. Generally, they avoid the self indulgence and immediate gratification that comes from easy access to material things. Instead they tend to focus on the important relationships in their lives, like with their families and community.” (http://notbuyinganything.blogspot.com/2011/05/advice-from-depression-survivors.html)
Listen up to more sensible and godly wisdom from the mouths of our own pre WWII citizens:
Pay cash instead of adopting the credit mentality. “Don’t spend money you don’t already have in your pocket.”
Don't make the rich richer by giving them your money. “Don’t pay someone else to provide something that you can learn to do or to make yourself.”
Cultivate traditional values of thrift and frugality. “Only buy what you can’t live without.”
Avoid self-indulgence and self-gratification by immediate acquisition of possessions. “Give yourself a good, long waiting period before making purchases.”
Do not gamble with your money (stock market, real estate speculation, lotteries, get rich quick schemes, etc). “It doesn’t matter how much money you make, it matters how much you save!”
Work is the way to make money. "Don't be afraid of honest, hard work."
Ambition is over-rated. "It is enough to just enjoy and appreciate each day."
This blogger says many depression survivors realize that good can come from bad, and meaning can come from tragedy. I agree. As evidence, take a look at Calvary. Jesus Christ died on a cross -- His suffering horrible, the price exorbitant! He owned nothing. Lived nowhere in particular. Walked everywhere. Ate at the generosity of friends and followers. And yet He lived His life lavishly and gave abundantly! His great sacrifice and self-denial, along with His suffering, resulted in freedom. I'd say that's good coming from bad and meaning springing from tragedy!
Whether enslaved to debt or economic hardship or worse, spiritual depravity, the wisdom of the ages is applicable. “It doesn't matter how much money you make, it matters how much you save!” That goes for dollars and cents, as well as souls. It's really that simple. People who use common sense, common courtesy and turn to Christ in time of crisis are best positioned to survive financial downturns or any frightening circumstance. I call it Great Depression Deliverance!
As the body of Christ we can help one another in the times in which we live by sharing what we have. We can serve one another by bartering skills and goods. We can encourage one another and pray for one another and pull together like family does when times get tough. And we can still embrace each day and just enjoy it. When we employ these attitudes often born out of hardship, we'll be strengthened to face whatever comes down the road and be a valuable witness for the Lord Jesus who paid our debt in full.