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money and debt


Statistics abound when it comes to money and debt. Mostly, they amount to the fact that a great many people are up against it financially at the moment. I don’t have any practical advice to give about this, but I have learned a couple of things which help with money related anxiety.


The first is knowing that there are plenty of people going through far worse times than I am experiencing. I don’t mean that they are simply worse off than I am. I am thinking more of those who have never really known poverty before, or who have never been as poor as they are now. They experience a particular kind of shame, sometimes very privately, which makes it all the more painful to bear. There is a degree of relativity when it comes to money and debt.


The second thing I’ve learned about money-related anxiety is that anxiety is totally counter-productive, because it controls us and deadens our imagination and creativity. We become paralysed in front of the headlights of oncoming disaster. If we look away from the headlights, we may suddenly discover that there is something we could do which might improve the situation, a very small thing perhaps, but something. So we have to look away from those headlights if we are going to be able to make the right move, whatever that is. Then we are a little bit more in control.


But looking away from the headlights is an act of will which few people are capable of exercising in their own strength. Many end up turning to something which will simply numb the fear and anxiety for the time being. Addiction often takes root at this particular point in a person’s life. But there is a better way, and that is to place one’s effort, or will, into the will of God.


Many will say they don’t believe in God, so how can they do this? Believing in God is not about knowing or believing things about God. It is about trusting him. It is about knowing our need to experience him, especially when our lives feel bleak. Recognising that need is the first step towards taking our eyes off the oncoming headlights.

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