Ordinary People sense that something is wrong

A time to rebuild

A time to rebuild

Friends, it seems that we are living in a time of great madness – the generation who voted (or ignored) the abortion bill, now about to vote for (or ignore) the euthanasia bill. The painful irony of a generation who voted for death in the womb, voting for their own death. Maybe this is a picture of how we are behaving financially?

I am not here to present a programme for you to sign up to, a campaign asking you to give money, and I’m not asking that you agree with my analysis. I do believe that there is a crisis developing which will progress into a catastrophe and that God is offering hope. To draw from the hope He offers we must listen to Him.

The theme for this week is finance. What a theme! Hard on the heals of  a series of banking scandals. Even last week there was a story emerging of yet another ‘mis-selling’ allegation – one that will cost up to £22 billion. We have had the stories of the banks not lending, and yet interest rates are at all time lows. On top of all this the USA and UK have historically incredible national debt levels. The USA debt is now measured in tens of trillions. I can remember the incredulity across the media when it reached one trillion. On top of this are the committed expenditures – which make the existing debt look small. Many analysts are convinced that this is not repayable in a generation. It seems that we have borrowed exorbitantly from our children. This is intergenerational abuse.

Ordinary people sense that something is wrong. British people feel alienated, and this is not just to do with the European government – but in government itself. Democracy is now down to how a handful of marginal seats will vote. Without traditional values giving a framework of morality and ‘right and wrong’ people only vote for self interest, and what will be best for them and their family. What we really believe  has become blurred.

Jesus said your heart is where you put your money. There is a battle for our hearts and the heart of the nation. Are we going to resort to entertaining ourselves or pretend that it’s business as usual?

At a recent North West Christian Business Forum we had a time of prayer and waiting on God. One person brought a word which he believed was from God, and which resonated with a good number of those present. “Something is coming – for which you cannot prepare – only learn to listen to Me.”

At a time of national social crisis and confusion about values and priorities the prophet Micah spoke a word of hope. He described a coming turning point: “There is coming a time for re-building the walls, for extending your boundaries.” God is always truthful about the state of the people, and always offers hope and a way forward.

Saint Paul described the three key values of the Christian faith: “Faith, Hope and Love.”

In the business world we would do well to rebuild the walls and extend our boundaries by promoting these values in the more everyday business world terms: “Trust, Confidence and Compassion.”

John Manwell is Co-Founder of The Forum (www.nwcbf.org) and Liverpool businessman

This talk was a contribution to a daily prayer event in Liverpool Cathedral as part of the International Festival for Business #IFB2014

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