Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What's On Your Mind?

Barna Group is a research and resource company located in Ventura, California. It focuses on gathering data and assessing the intersection of faith and culture. The Barna Group offers a range of customized research, resources, and training to serve churches, non-profits, businesses, and leaders. The Barna Group recently released its latest research on the issues Americans have on their minds today. Not surprisingly, they found there were differences among age groups, political groups, and churched groups. They did, however, find one issue on which 98 percent of those polled agreed: the economy.

It is indeed rare to have any single issue receive a majority on any poll, at any time. Therefore, the significance of 98 percent of those responding choosing the economy as their number-one issue today is significant. The respondents identified various parts of the economic picture as their priority. For some it was job creation. For others it was unemployment, financial hardship, the national debt, the recession, and tax worries. The common denominator was how those polled were all fixed on economic issues.

Perhaps you are one of the thousands who find themselves faced with unemployment or under-employment. All other issues fade as you struggle to provide food, clothing, and a roof for your family. Perhaps you are one of the thousands who are retiring or are retired and are faced with increased healthcare costs while struggling with a fixed budget. Perhaps you are a newly minted college graduate faced with competing with a glut of applicants vying for a limited number of jobs. Perhaps you are looking at your monthly expenses and wondering how to pay rising utility and rent bills while facing increased tax obligations from city, state, and federal governments trolling for more revenue. Perhaps you are personally secure but lose sleep each night over the financial future our children and grandchildren will inherit. Yes, it is easy to see why 98 percent of those polled agree that financially related issues are today's number-one concern.

I struggle with the issue of finances along with everyone else. As a man I am troubled since there is nothing I can do to fix it. As a man I have problems with asking people for a handout or a hand up. As a man I find it difficult sharing my anxieties with my wife, my pastor, or my friend. I do not want them thinking less of me because I'm grappling with an issue I should supposedly have control over.

But as guys maybe that is just what we need to do -- share what's on our mind with our spouse, our pastor, or our friend. And while we're doing that, let's not forget to share our mind with our Heavenly Father. He knows our every distress -- financial and otherwise. He understands every unspoken fear we have in our hearts. And He is there -- ready and willing -- to listen.

We live in demanding times to be sure, but our God is greater than any problems we may face.

What's on your mind? Would a consultation with Him over the matter be of great value to you?

1 comment :

Jakob said...

Thank you for pointing out what would seem to be obvious. The reality: the Lord has enabled us as congregations to help members and people in the community in whatever need they may be. How do we go about putting our Lord given ability into practice? It seems to me that caring for the need of others becomes ever more crucial for the church. Jakob Heckert