My Mom likes to share some of her emails with me because she knows I’ll have a reaction. Recently she passed along a message with 21 items of advice for folks aging and retired. I won’t copy it here because it was a nauseating list of middle-class Baby Boomer materialism.
Boomers (my generation) are convinced they built this country; they lead the way in a sense of entitlement as a whole generation. Most of them are relatively conservative and big on the Constitution and Bill of Rights in very literal applications. They will jump to defend the American way and Western Civilization. Most of them would quickly shoot a robber or home invader. But when it comes right down to it, their whining about the police state is about as far as it goes. Almost none of them would actually take arms against the state. And they are easily the most self-indulgent generation in American history.
All of that was plainly obvious in the advice this email offered. I’m writing my reaction here, because it’s a prophetic reaction.
This is a bad time to trust institutions: government, churches, banks, funds, etc. When any of them decide to fail you, it will come without notice, and without the least bit of regret. For example, in legal terms, the bottom line is that when you deposit your money in a bank, it’s their money. They can do what they want with it, and you really have no recourse if they lie and persuade you to let them keep it up until the day they lock the doors and declare themselves insolvent. You may get some back from the FDIC, but if other banks shut down the same day, that fund can disappear in a few hours.
Don’t trust them. You may well have to leave your money there because of how the system works, but don’t be surprised if any institution goes belly-up any day now. Pray and make plans to deal with that as best you are able. I will tell I personally believe most banks will survive the coming turmoil, but a lot of government pensions will disappear, as will an awful lot of union pensions. A great many municipalities, counties and some states are near bankruptcy right now.
Your material possessions are a grant from God for service in His glory. So if you feel led to let your progeny inherit things, consider passing it over now. Be aware of how turmoil can affect keeping anything you give them. Pray for guidance, but surely you know that some things are more likely confiscated or stolen than others. And in the end, you should only give what you have. As long as it is in your hands, whining is not a valid counter to the moving of the Spirit. I recommend doing it in steps, not all at once, unless you have a compelling reason for it.
Otherwise, my teaching would assume that you had begun seeking to live and give by the Spirit’s guidance long ago. That means use what you have for the glory of Christ, whether in your hands or in passing to the hands of others. If God put it in your hands, you are His steward, accountable to Him alone. You are not responsible for hustling to gather up stuff that someone else tells you is necessary, unless that kind of hustling is your calling and mission in Christ. Never listen to charity experts; the only way they can take such a position is by moral compromise. Don’t listen to investment counselors who can’t give evidence of being heart-led and prophetically oriented.
Follow your convictions. Strive to do what you feel compelled to do. That’s how we live at all times, but it becomes more critical in times of tribulation such as we face now. The biggest task for any of us it train the conscience to listen to the heart, not the logic and certainly not dominant social “wisdom.”