Diplomatic Notes

Inflation response

There has been much talk lately about inflation and cost of living. Calls have been made for increased wages to combat inflation and the government recently announced the extension of the list of items for price control. The reality is that we cannot legislate a solution because even the government is challenged when it comes to resources available. What should we do when an issue like this presents itself – and what steps can individuals take to combat inflationary pressures?

One answer is better stewardship. The Bible talks about knowing the times and seasons and preparing for impending change or challenge. We recall the story of Joseph who utilized the wisdom of God in very practical terms and advised Pharaoh to store up grain in a time of plenty in order to survive in the lean times that followed. Some of us may not have anything to store up – but if we do, this is a very important lesson. If you ever have plenty, do not take it for granted, store up in preparation for the inevitable lean season.

Another aspect of stewardship is examining what you have and ensuring that you are not wasting anything and you are getting the most of what is in your power, for example, doing something as simple as taking lunch to work rather than buying lunch. Take proactive steps to secure your future utilizing what you have in your hand.

In The Bahamas, we as a nation are very negligent when it comes to our resources that are available to us, but underutilized. It is in the lean times that we should begin looking to plant crops to feed ourselves for the future. We are still importing almost all of our food and yet there are people who have never planted a tree or established a garden in their own backyard. We import 97 percent of our food yet we have land and yards all around us that are bearing no fruit. One of Jesus’ examples to us was when he cursed the tree that was not bearing fruit. He also chastised the servant who had a talent but did not invest it to bring a return.

This is saying to us that we should begin by using what is in our hands. I decided several years back that I may not have the space for a farm but I would begin taking advantage of what was in my care. I dug up all the unproductive trees and flowers and replaced them with things that bore fruit and could help me in feeding myself. Today, I have cocoplum hedges instead of ficus trees. I have a dilly tree, coconut tree, mango tree, soursop tree, pea plant, lime tree and even a grape vine all in my yard.

I may not be able to feed myself with what I have planted, but it means instead of spending 100 percent of my money at the grocery store, I can go outside and pick fruit in season, which reduces my bill slightly and even provides for others to whom I send my excess.

You can do two things when there is a problem: you can complain or you can take corrective action. Do not just complain about inflation – take action to position yourself to be in a better position when the next cycle comes. Remember the saying, “He who is faithful in little will be faithful over much”. Are you going to be another complainer or are you going to be a fruitful person? Begin with what is right in front of you and instead of just complaining, take action. Your choice.

• Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to pastordaveburrows@hotmail.com. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange. 

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