Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are set to meet together to discuss austerity, European debt, and stagnant economic growth in many countries of the world. Both Germany and Canada have weathered global economic downturns well and some look toward them both as models for other countries. Yet, both countries continue to struggle to post positive economic growth while residing close to other economies which have been severely affected by global events. Both Germany and Canada have relatively small populations but account for much global industry. This meeting will give two of the world’s strongest economies a chance to consider the options regarding Europe’s soaring debt and poor economic growth.
It also gives me an opportunity to consider how fortunate I am to live in Canada. In the midst of a world struggling with austerity plans and huge debts (Ireland has a debt of approximately 20 million Euros per person) I am very thankful to be living in Canada. In fact, I want that to be my first response to the world economic crisis: thankfulness.
Beyond thankfulness I pray that I can have an attitude of generosity. However other countries got into the situation in which they find themselves, I want to help them get out of it. Many times I am tempted to live a frugal life simply so that I can store up more for myself and my family. But what if I turned that attitude around and lived frugally and with austerity so that I might help someone else? We can consider how Canada and Germany might help others to find the way back to fiscal responsibility. We can model fiscal responsibility, generosity, and thankfulness.
“Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” Luke 3:11.
“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life . . .” John 6:27.
“But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” 1 Timothy 6:8