The global financial crisis seems to be getting worse with each passing month. The latest development in the train of events was announced last week. According to a report from the Labor Department, the unemployment rate rose to 8.1 percent in February as employers slashed 651,000 jobs, bringing the total to over 4 million jobs lost since the start of the crisis.
While some say that the lack of morality caused the tremendous lapse of judgment in bringing about the financial crisis, others say that no one could have foreseen this mess. Public opinion has stated that bankers’ greed is to blame, while economists and others have set it squarely on credit-happy consumers who made too many purchases that they could not pay for. This includes homeowners who defaulted on their mortgages.
The tragedy of the commons is a good analogy for this financial crisis. First coined by Garrett Hardin in 1968, the concept illustrates that if two selfish parties have to share something in common, they would ultimately destroy it. Rather than promoting common care, "the commons" creates common neglect. The only solution to the tragedy of the commons is if someone sacrifices his interest first and chooses not to decimate the commons but instead, preserve it for posterity. Come to think of it, this is exactly what Jesus Christ did when He came and sacrificed His life for us all.
In the New Testament, when the disciples asked Jesus whether it was the parents’ or the man’s sin that caused him to be born blind, Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” Instead of going with the common viewpoint at a time when people merely focused on the past to comprehend one's present misery, Jesus rather chose to focus on the future - the ultimate end where the glory of God is to be revealed.
A parallel story can be found in the Old Testament. Joseph acquitted his brothers, who had sold him as a slave into Egypt, with the words, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Despite his brothers' evil act of selling him off to Egypt, Joseph trusted in God's sovereignty.
What should our attitude be now that the economy has become a tragedy? We could blame someone. Indeed, it is someone's fault. Let’s instead seek to hold steadfast to God, who is still all-mighty and all-knowing. We may not see everything right away, but we still trust that God will make all things better, in His time. His power extends to the economy of course, and we believe that God has the power to change the evil to good. Let's focus on what good can come out of this mess, rather than focusing on who is to blame.