Our World of Money?. Reflection Option -1 Bible quotation .
Luke 14:28-30:“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, `This man began to build, and was not able to finish’.”
Now Jesus was not talking about our household budgets but he was talking about counting the cost of discipleship and the way we manage our money is a big part of what it means to follow Jesus. In fact, Jesus speaks more about money than he does about faith or prayer. Why? Because he knew that how we handle money either helps us or gets in the way of the abundant life he longs to give to his people. So a rich fool builds new barns but loses his life while a wealthy young man leaves Jesus saddened because he cannot let go of his money. A woman who anoints Jesus with expensive perfume is criticised by Judas but blessed by Jesus while a man who is forgiven his debts but refuses to cancel the debt of another is condemned.
Hazrat Al-Khudriradiyallahuanhureported that the Prophet (SAW)said:
Gold in exchange for gold, silver in exchange for silver, wheat in exchange for wheat, barley in exchange for barley, dates in exchange for dates, salt in exchange for salt is in the same category and (should be exchanged) hand to hand, so who ever adds or demands increase he has practised usury.
The giver and taker are the same.
What is usury?
Usury originally meant the charging of interest on loans. This included charging a fee for the use of money, such as at a bureau de change.
After interest became acceptable, usury came to mean the interest above the rate allowed by law.
In common usage today, the word means the charging of unreasonable or extortionate rates of interest.
As part of Citizens UK’s Response to the Economic Crisis, our alliance is campaigning against usurious lending practices and calling for a 20% cap on interest rates.
If you are not low-paid, not dependent on housing benefit or reliant on social services to help care for your mother, and not on sick pay, you may not notice anything – at first. If you are not a sixth-former from a poor family losing the £30-a-week allowance to keep you in education, if you don't use buses, whose subsidies are cut, and you don't work in the public sector, losing 10% in frozen pay and pension contributions, then at first you may think the four horsemen of the apocalypse have passed you by.
Most people will keep their jobs, enjoy low interest rates and wonder what the fuss about cuts was all about – at first. That is the coalition bet: people just won't know or care about the struggling third of their fellow citizens who lose out right away…
But will it last when reality bites by the middle of next year, when a million more are losing jobs? Newspaper anecdotes of a less favourable kind will show pensioners losing housing benefit evicted from their homes. Sick people queueing for admission on A&E trolleys will suddenly show that NHS ring-fencing was bogus, its inflation needs far higher than the tiny extra it was given. Try closing even one under-used library and hear the local protests, let alone leisure centres, school sports and youth clubs. Sure Start is not saved: without ringfenced funds, it will be left to local councils to wield the axe. Schools will cut teachers and teaching assistants, while a 10,000 cut in police will be blamed for any local crime. The stories of waste and welfare cheats will soon turn to horror tales of cuts. Will the comfortable 70% care then? You bet they will.