Household Economics

Spiritualpractice 29
Good economic practice – positive ways of exchanging goods and services – is about the well-being, the livelihood, of the whole household. The term economics suggests money, markets, investment, e-commerce, taxes, profit, etc. As a spiritual discipline, Household Economics is an attempt to resist the pervasive influence of the marketplace in our daily lives and to ensure a continuity between our life as Christians and our daily life in the world. In the face of great economic and environmental challenges, the Christian practice of household economics calls on us to manage our private homes for the well-being and livelihood of the small planet home we all share. Our households are anchoring places that define our basic ways of life. Where does our planet home fit in? Do we defend the earth with the same vigor we may defend the security of our private homes? The practice of simplicity can foster a sense of right proportion and right relation within the dynamic and interdependent household of the whole earth. Does your faith community challenge you to reflect deeply on the ways you spend your time and money? Do we sometimes act as if our economic lives are separate from our “spiritual” lives? Do we treat the money we give to our church as “discretionary income” after we’ve bought all the things we wanted, or do we treat our church contribution as a “budget line” just as we would our taxes or our mortgage payment? What would happen if we linked faith and money matters in the church? Would you welcome mutual accountability on these matters, or do you fear that this could lead into difficult or uncomfortable areas? How can our faith communities help us discern how well our economic witness corresponds to the ancient prayer of Christian asceticism? How would our daily lives be changed by our immersion in a spirituality of “abundance and enough-ness”?