Just about everyone is feeling the pain of our troubled economy. The extreme manifestations make headlines – suicides and murders that are somehow tied to financial problems. For most people, there’s just a nagging sense of financial anxiety. An ABC News article mentioned a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web site dedicated to helping people cope with our tough times. The article also recommended a U.S. Department of Labor site designed to help those who have lost their job.
One of the best ways of dealing with financial trouble is talking with someone about what you’re going through. I once asked the head of benevolence at a large church what was the main reason why people came to his ministry for help. I expected him to say “unemployment” or “credit card debt.” Instead, he said, “isolation.” He explained that many people simply try to deal with their financial problems on their own – they either don’t have close friends or they’re hesitant to talk about their financial problems with other people.
If you’re in a small group Bible study, encourage your group to go through a financial study. The people in your group may seem like they’re doing just fine, but you’ll probably be surprised at the issues that come to the surface once they have the opportunity to talk about money with trusted friends. I wrote a discussion guide specifically designed to foster conversations about this tough topic.