Is the recession a financial flood?

By glblguy

rainbow

My family and I were driving somewhere the other day and my 14 year old started asking me some questions about the recession. Questions like: What exactly is a recession? Is it normal? Will the recession stop? After answering his questions he got quiet as he thought about my answers. A few minutes later he said: “Dad, so a recession is sort of like a financial flood.”  Whoa.

The biblical flood

Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made – Genesis 7:4

We all know the story of Noah and ark. During Noah’s time, the earth was corrupt and full of violence. God spoke to Noah, a righteous man in God’s eyes and said: I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. God commanded Noah to build an ark so that him, his family, and many different species of animals could survive the great flood that would soon consume the earth. At 600 years of age, Noah began construction of an ark, a boat if you will, that was huge, even by today’s standards.

When the rains came, Noah loaded up his family and all kinds of animals into the ark and survived the flood.  The world started anew. God said: Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. A rainbow is a sign today of God’s promise.

The recession a financial flood?

Is the recession a financial flood similar to the one experienced by Noah? No, but there are some similarities and frankly I was taken aback by the insight of my son. Do your kids ever do that? I love it when mine do.

How is the recession a financial flood:

  1. The recession is the result of financial “corruption”. Companies with no accountability, greed, people with huge amounts of credit use and associated debt, people purchasing more than they could afford….Well the list goes on. The recession is a result of people going crazy with their money and honestly acting irresponsibly.
  2. The recession is causing a financial cleansing. Similar to the great flood, the recession is causing a financial cleansing of sorts. The recession is causing people to reduce their spending, live on budgets, stop using debt, and even downsize. The recession is “cleaning” America of the poor financial practices that got us into this recession in the first place.
  3. The recession is going to last a while. The great flood from the Bible lasted 40 days and 40 nights. That’s a long time with non-stop rain. The recession is no different and will be here for while. How long? Who knows, but I honestly feel we’re not even close to half way yet. But like the flood, it won’t last forever.
  4. Initiated by God. While I am sure a great many of you may disagree, I firmly believe that the recession is a tool used by God to rein us in as His children. A recession is a way of reminding of us of how we should live and to not only improve our finances in the long haul, but to bring us closer to him as well.  I also believe that if we all lived and practiced biblical financial practices, there might not be recessions…or at least if there were they would be much smaller. Today’s economy is just  like a huge pendulum swing with huge extremes in each direction.

In all fairness, comparing the recession to the great flood is like comparing apples to oranges, but the analogy is sound. A recession is just a normal part of the ebb and flow of an economy. If you just look at the history of the American economy, you will see that there are periods of highs and periods of lows (recession).

What are your thoughts? Do you see a similarity? Do you believe the recession is a tool used by God to train us and guide us? Let me know what you think: Add a comment!

Photo by: Яick Harris


7 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Is the recession a financial flood?”

  1. Jeff@StretchyDollar Says:

    I really like this comparison! I started to make the connection as soon as I read the title – it works out really well! I just have one question – is there a ‘never again’ guarantee? ;)

  2. Craig @ Money Help for Christians Says:

    Thanks for raising these questions and exploring the answers. We need to ask more of these types of questions so we can be open and attentive to what God is doing in this economy. If God is speaking I sure hope we learn to listen.

  3. Shawna Says:

    This is a wonderful analogy, and helped me to look at things in a new light. Thank you!

  4. Abigail Says:

    Well, it’s a lovely metaphor, I’ll grant you that.

    That said, I have to respectfully disagree. I think the imagery you conjure is total spot-on. It was caused by greed. (I just happen to believe the collapse has less to do with God and more to do with the old “What goes up, must come down” theory of the universe.)

    You can view the recession as God reining us in. It’s as apt an explanation of things as the invisible hand of economics, after all!

    My only real contention is that the Great Flood implied there would be only one. Despite plenty of sin and debauchery (and, if you ask the right religious folks, it’s probably of Sodom & Gomorrah proportions, I suppose) God has yet to cleanse the Earth again. Of course, he could be taking a wait-and-see-approach.

    Point is, though, that these sorts of downturns are very normal and even, to a certain point, logical. While we haven’t had a recession this severe in awhile, we had the Great Depression in the ’30s, we had recession in the ’80s (S&L crisis, anyone?) and some stagnation in the early ’90s. Probably some more recessions between WWII and the ’80s but my knowledge of economic history is fuzzy at that point.

    I think that all the people wailing and gnashing their teeth are the same who enjoyed all the benefits of the super high highs. Now they just don’t want to the natural lows that follow. Call it God rapping our knuckles with a spoon, if you want. The point remains that this is a cycle that has been happening for nearly a century, minimum.

    Actually, even longer than that, if you consider the whole tulip market debacle back in the… yeesh.. 1800s I think?

  5. DDFD at DivorcedDadFrugalDad.com Says:

    Nice analogy.

    I think recessions can be looked at as a state of mind as well. Let me expand on that . . .

    For frugal people who had their spending and expenses in check, this recession isn’t that painful or bothersome (Personally, I am mildly entertained by all the chickens scrambling as their skies fall in). The pain I hear comes from the spendthrifts that I know. They are all crying poor and complaining they can’t maintain their toys.

    Frugal people had their “arks” in order and are taking this situation in stride . . .

  6. lorishaneck Says:

    I believe you are right on the spot with this post. I have to say that this is one of your best and I agree with everything. Thanks for your insights.

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