I was fascinated to read in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal that Henry Paulsen, former Treasury Secretary during the scariest days of the financial panic in 2008, turned to Second Timothy the day before Lehman Bros. collapsed. He writes in his new book, excerpted in the Journal:

"What if the system collapses?" I asked [my wife]. "Everybody is looking to me, and I don’t have the answer. I am really scared."

I asked her to pray for me, and for the country, and to help me cope with this sudden onslaught of fear. She immediately quoted from the Second Book of Timothy, verse 1:7—"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

Paulsen is a Christian Scientist. He also writes that he decided not to take sleeping pills to help him rest on that fateful evening. But aside from Paulsen’s theological ideas, I think most general readers of the paper are simply going to take note of what the scripture says.

As the country recovers and faces less acute but more chronic financial problems, I hope that Paulsen’s fear is turned into soundness of mind—something our political system is notably lacking.


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