March 11, 2011, started out like most other uneventful days along Japan’s northeastern shore, until a magnitude 9.0 earthquake unleashed a massive tsunami that left more than 28,000 people missing or dead.
Surprisingly, there were a handful of villages unscathed because they heeded the warnings of ancient “Tsunami Stones.” Some of the stones are almost 10 feet high and bear the carved warning, “Do not build your home below this point.” A few are more than 500 years old and hundreds were erected along the coast to warn future generations of past devastating tsunamis.
In our time, most Japanese living along the coast ignored these ancient stones left by their ancestors. Instead, they built close to the ocean choosing to trust in modern seawalls and sophisticated technology to protect them.
We are faced with an eerily similar situation in our country with our finances. Jeremiah 6:16 warns us, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’ But you have said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
God’s word—the good ancient path—discourages the use of debt. Romans 13:8 says, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another.” And Proverbs 22:7 adds, “The borrower is slave to the lender.” Our government, many businesses and individuals consider this kind of thinking old fashioned and no longer applicable in a sophisticated country that owes $18 trillion of Federal debt and has increased this debt an average of $2.31 billion a day since 2012.
But for each of us, the question we have to answer is simple. Who I am going to trust—God’s eternal word or the invention of today’s economists and politicians? I believe your financial future rests on your answer.
By Howard Dayton