Darrow Miller and Friends

The Morality of Personal Finance

God delivered Israel from Egypt and began transforming a community of slaves into a free nation that modeled godly virtue. That process included repeatedly testing them:

  • The LORD made a decree and … tested them. (Exo 15:25 NIV)
  • I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. (Exo 16:4 NIV)
  • God has come to test you … to keep you from sinning. (Exo 20:20 NIV)
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Today’s equivalent? How we handle personal financial obligations in a difficult economic climate. This is part of obedience to the “all that Christ commanded” of the Great Commission.

Consider the following excerpt from a column by Bruce Bialosky,  writing at Townhall.com. Bialosky connects the dots between financial responsibility and morality:

Personal bankruptcy, which had for generations been a stigmatizing event, has become a pedestrian matter … Thousands of people negotiate reductions in credit card balances every day. Add to this the practice of embracing foreclosure due to a market downturn, and you start to witness a nation losing its moral compass. The people who take these actions are absolved of their obligations, but there is always a piper to pay. Ultimately, we all pay for these shortfalls in higher prices, higher bank fees, or in much larger government debt obligations.

On the other side of the equation, I have a friend who declined a $10 million payout because he refused an attorney’s insistence to sue an exposed-but-innocent company. Never mind that the huge corporation could eat the cost. It was a matter of integrity. Of morality.

In a forthcoming book, Darrow Miller will write:

God calls us to pursue virtue and flee vice. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines virtue as “Moral goodness  … The practice of moral duties from sincere love to God and his laws is virtue and religion.” Vice is defined as “any voluntary action or course of conduct which deviates from the rules of moral rectitude … ”

When the majority of a nation’s people pursues virtue, the nation grows in social, political, and economic health. When they follow their base instincts, the nation suffers. The mores, moral habits, ‘habits of the heart’ … some have called these a moral ecology.

It’s not only right … it’s important!

The Western world is profoundly focused on natural ecology, concerned for the survival of the planet. She would do better to consider the moral ecology so fundamental to the survival of a nation.

Gary Brumbelow

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Gary is the Disciple Nations Alliance editorial manager. He manages Darrow Miller and Friends and serves as editor and co-writer on various book projects. For eight years Gary served as a cross-cultural church planting missionary among First Nations people of Canada. His career also includes 14 years as executive director of InterAct Ministries, an Oregon-based church-planting organization in Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. Gary is a graduate of Grace University, earned an MA from Wheaton College and a Graduate Studies Diploma from Western Seminary. He lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife, Valerie. They have two married sons and twelve grandchildren. In addition to his work with the DNA, Gary serves as the pastor of Troutdale Community Church.