Singapore can handle the CoViD-19 pandemic because of its past reserves. It need not borrow money with high interest rates to cope with the economic downturn caused by the CoViD-19 pandemic. The reserves were not accumulated overnight but through a period of growth and savings over decades. We thank God for a prudent government and the value of savings our government has inculcated in us since young. Hence, it is critical for us to value savings throughout our life. It is critical that we set aside a portion of our income and not spend beyond our means. The savings we set aside will help see us through during the economic downturn. I thank God that many of our church members, especially the older generation, live prudently and save for the rainy days. They have enough savings not only for themselves but also to give very generously to the gospel work of our church. All this is made possible by being prudent in their spending and their savings. As recorded for us in Genesis 41:47-49:
During the seven years of abundance, the land produced plentifully. Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city, he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.
Under the leadership of Joseph, Joseph saved during the time of plenty so that the abundance of grain that was saved would save his life, his family, Egypt and the surrounding nations during the seven years of famine which were to come after the seven years of plenty.
If you do not have the habit of saving, may I strongly encourage you to start saving and understand the importance of saving. It is critical that we spend within our means. Let us learn to be prudent with how we use our money and save to not only to see us through bad times but also to be able to use the extra savings that we have to help others who are in financial needs and for the gospel work. DPM Heng Swee Keat mentioned in his speech that we have financial reserves and the “deep reserve of the social capital.” For instance, many Singaporeans choose to donate their Solidarity Payments to charitable causes and to offer their valuable time and resources to distribute care packs. In the same way, we should also look out for the needs of our family and church family. Be sensitive to the needs of those who may face financial difficulties due to a loss of job or a cut in salary. Let us give as the LORD moves us to help financially those who are in need. At the same time, we can take time to deliver things for those who are in need due to physical inabilities or those who may be sick. Paul was always grateful for fellow workers who help him during his time of great need. Such a person was Onesiphorus. Second Timothy 1:16-17:
May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me.
We will be hard hit by the CoViD-19 pandemic. It will probably take a few years for the economy to rebound and return to normal. During this time, the company will start retrenching its staff resulting in the loss of jobs. May we be an Onesiphorus to our family and our church family who are hard hit during these financial difficult times due to CoViD-19 pandemic.
May we cultivate the habit of savings, prudency in spending and have the attitude of Onesiphorus who will go the extra mile and go out of his way to help those who are in financial or physical needs during this sustained economic downturn due to the CoViD-19 pandemic.