Tough Times

Written by Christianity and the Confusion on September 23rd, 2008

   This Sunday I heard the message of Robert Schuller reaired. He was discussing some points from his book “Tough times never last, tough people always do!” This brought back memories for me as in the early 80s I was going though some tough times and a friend gave me that book to read. It was a real help, which brings me to a few questions; if you were to lose half your income what would you give up? Would you sale a priced possession? How would you handle the change in life standards?




16 Comments so far ↓

  1. Anonymous says:

    Been there … things were rough 1990 – 1994 and 2003 – 2008. Unemployment first, later divorce. First time had a family, gave up eating out. But the wife was a good cook. Second time, gave up wife, but kept eating out. Not really regarding eating out, second time was a lot of tuna salad or chicken salad sandwiches 😉 But I have given up TV, but kept up Internet and YMCA. I have very few vices, spending almost nothing on alcohol, tobacco, or gambling.
    Your analysis is assuming you had excess income to begin with, and that you have a spouse bringing in some second income. In 1990 we were both unemployed (7 months), in her case to have our child. We were able to keep her at home with the baby a full year after the birth, but we did have savings. During second period had major medical out of pocket, and thanks to ex-wife, there were zero savings … and while I was working the whole time, half of income went to her. Without my best friend, full time employment, religious fellowship … I couldn't have made it these past 5 years.
    Hope things are happy and prosperous for all … our posters and lurkers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    PS – having pets helps 😉

  3. Anonymous says:

       If I was to find myself bringing home half the income that I now do it would be hard, that is no doubt. For me, my faith in the Lord would be that which would get me through it. Psalm 37 has been an inspiration for such things, for if my income was cut in half due to a wrongful firing or some other injustice this chapter would be a great strength. For it begins as this:

    Do not fret because of evildoers,
    Be not envious toward wrongdoers.
    For they will wither quickly like the grass
    And fade like the green herb.
    Trust in the LORD and do good;
    Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
    Delight yourself in the LORD;
    And He will give you the desires of your heart.
    Commit your way to the LORD,
    Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
    He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
    And your judgment as the noonday.
    Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
    Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
    Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
    Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
    Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
    For evildoers will be cut off,
    But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.
    Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more;
    And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.
    But the humble will inherit the land
    And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity. (vs. 1 -11)

       We too often focus on the bad things of life, we get consumed by what the other guy is getting away with. Our egos become enflamed when those wicked schemes have affected us, but this passage tells us to not dwell on it, rather to “Trust in the LORD and do good.” Through all my hardships I have learned one thing, which is that the Lord will never forsake me. I have full confidence that He will always provide, it may not luxury but it will be what I need. For verse 25 of that chapter puts it this way:
    I have been young and now I am old,
    Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
    Or his descendants begging bread.

       I know that I must act as well, for if my income was cut in half I could not go on spending as if it were not. I would have to start eating more modestly, more home cooked meals and less eating at expensive restaurants. I would cut out the trips to the coast on the weekends along with all vacations. I would stop buying DVDs and perhaps cut the cable back to a less expensive package. I could also cut back on the use of my cellphone. I am sure that if I had to that I could cut a lot of things out and even move to a cheaper home.

  4. Anonymous says:

    For me the tough times were in the seventies and then again in the latter part of the eighties and a good part of the nineties, but I live in an alternate universe from most people.
    The choice as what to give up was an easy choice. My goal was to preserve my home my land and my ability to produce an income. I gave up a future wife and family with few regrets. I gave up nice autos and clothes and many things that most evreyone thinks are neccessities. I feel that I was lucky to be born to parents that taught me that it was ok to be poor. I'm not poor today, maybe tomorrow though?

  5. Anonymous says:

    When you're broke or close to it and survive on the bare minimum, these types of things are about as bothersome as a cloudy day.
    When you have lived a comfortable life and are watching it vanish before your very eyes, panic sets in.

  6. Anonymous says:

    You guys really think people making 200 grand are filthy rich. Not.

  7. Anonymous says:

       Most Americans do not make one quarter of that, which means these people making over $100,000 a year are taking a bigger piece of the pie than most. I would add that they usually have bigger bills so that if saw their paychecks cut in half it still would be a hardship. What is more, if a man making 20 to 30 thousand lost everything there is a good chance that he could make it back, but someone worth millions is unlikely to ever see that type of life again. Up to now, you are the only one to say anything about someone making 200 grand. No one is saying that begrudging the rich is right, but it is immoral for a society to allow such extremes of rich and poor. Such a society cannot last.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It tough times, the millionaires always insist we have to sacrifice. Then they get a bonus for uttering those words of wisdom. If they can't sacrifice, why should the rest of us? We want to keep our single houses while they have multiple houses. Who can sacrifice and still exist?

  9. Anonymous says:

    If the Republicans continue to refuse to support the bailout package there is a very good chance we're going to see what a depression looks like. I'm talking D E P R E S S I O N.
    Washington Mutual just got seized by the FDIC and a big chunk was sold to JPMorgan. I can almost guarantee that there will be a run on WaMu tomorrow as people insist on taking their money out of the bank even though it is federally insured. And the Republicans have walked out of the bailout negotiations.
    Tomorrow is going to be really interesting.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Marty, I really liked how you started this, but some people just have to play the blame game. “It's all the Republicans fault!” I guess if they can blame someone they don't have to take any responsibility.
    What you said is right, we all go through tough times; they can either break us or make us into better people. I agree that the answer to draw near to God and He'll draw near to you. I like this post and am going to read Psalms 37 before going to bed.


    Proud of being a Republican

  11. Anonymous says:

    To BackJack2,
    Not filthy rich, but pretty comfortable….
    If not, shame on them……

  12. Anonymous says:

    So? Tax those people so they can come down to your level?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Has nothing to do with that, it's about fairness. Why should the little guy be paying the lion's share?

  14. Anonymous says:

    No, tax those people because they can afford to pay the taxes.

  15. Anonymous says:

    You may not ever be “poor” but if you should you will appreciate what you have. A lot of people get themselves into trouble because they want more than they can afford. Many a well to do person has put himself in the poorhouse by over extending.

  16. Anonymous says:

    To Mr. BlackJack,
    I don't know what your problem is, but this is about people who are hurting, I mean really hurting! You are SO not getting it! Taxing the rich doesn't hurt them, but outsourcing someone's job does. Cutting someone's pay in half now that SO does hurt them. Forclosing on people's homes, that hurts them! Taxes? That's part of living in America, so like get with it.

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