Thursday, March 07, 2024

Money Developments (2b) Cash and Security

Cash does not provide people with security from a hostile government, as it still has to be withdrawn from a bank or ATM, and the government can easily put a stop to that for a particular person. The only alternative would be to stash away a large volume of notes and use them as needed, but that is risky because they can be stolen, or destroyed by flood or fire. And of course, inflation slowly erodes the value of stored cash over the long term.

Whatever the form of the money system, modern governments have the power to prevent people from buying and selling. Holding cash provides very little protection. If people really want to store money for their support while living under a hostile government (I don’t see the need at this stage), a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is probably the safest option because accounts are decentralised, and transactions can be made without anyone knowing and without leaving any paper or digital record of the transaction. However, it might be difficult to find businesses that will trade with a cryptocurrency.

A simpler option might be to store gold coins or gold jewellery, as they retain value, although the risk of theft remains. I read once about a person who travelled through Nazi Germany with a gold chain necklace hidden in their shoe. They used links from the chain to pay for things that they needed.

Jesus told his followers to seek his kingdom and find his security in it. He warned the people not to rely on money for their security.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal (Matt 6:19-20).
No wealth stored on earth is fully safe, regardless of the form in which it is stored. Cash can be stolen. Notes can get wet and mushy and be destroyed. The only safe place for storing wealth is in the kingdom of God. But only spiritual wealth can get in. Luke’s account of Jesus’ teaching makes the promise clearer.
Seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys (Luke 12:31-33).
The safest place to be in a crisis is part of what Jesus calls a “little flock”, ie a community of people who are committed to following Jesus by serving each other and providing support for each other.

A fellowship of believers can support each other by giving and sharing during a season when the government is persecuting those who stand for Jesus. Their love for each other will be a purse that does not wear out. In Jesus’ kingdom, they will find treasure that will never fail. No powerful, political thief will be able to rob them of the security that they love one another as Jesus commanded.

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