I’ve been thinking about the work we do quite a bit over these past few months. My goal is to build a business that is doing business by the book. That honours God in the work we do. Still, I also want a successful business that provides exceptional value to our clients, generates a lot of revenue, provides for the people on my team, and generates healthy profits for myself. For some reason, part of me has been struggling with the concept of making a lot of money. Making profit.
Somehow we have been taught that making money is bad. You have to be a crook to become rich, exploit people. Steal, kill, destroy for your own gain.
There is just too many scriptures being quoted that talk about the rich being the problem. There is this general understanding that Jesus and the apostles were poor. That the early church was poor. That it is more blessed to give than to receive. To have everything in common and so forth.
I know many people who would prefer to be poor and would think of poverty as a virtue.
I don’t think that is the right approach. And I think this is an incorrect interpretation of scripture.
The ultimate problem is greed is self-centredness. If you read through the Bible starting from the very beginning, God wants to bless his children. Abraham, Jacob, Josef, David, Solomon all were wealthy beyond belief. But they did not use this money on themselves. They were blessed to be a blessing. Heck, Noah owned all the wealth in the world (all animals), and he let them go and started over. He could have easily held on to all the wealth, but he did not.
Anyways, I think it is hard to be a blessing, to make a difference, to change nations without wealth. I don’t think it’s impossible, but I think it’s a lot harder, and even the people that make the difference need to find the infancy’s to do so.
I think that God wants to bless us beyond what we think is reasonable. As long as our heart stays in the right place. It’s not about the gift, but the giver.
I’ve been reading Thou Shalt Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, and he tells the story of A Jewish peddler, that buys a table for $10 from someone that wants to get rid of it. He then sells that table to someone that is looking for a new table for $20. They had budgeted $60 to buy a brand new table, but they’re happy to save $40 and buy a used one.
The moral of the story is, because of these transactions, everyone is better off. The peddler generated $70 out of nothing. One family saved $40, and the other made $10, and he made $20 as well. Everyone wins. Everyone is blessed.
Money, it seems, is not natural. It is a spiritual force.
If something is natural, I give it away, and I don’t have it anymore.
Say a guitar. If I have one guitar and give it to you, you have a guitar, and I don’t. But let’s say I have a tune. And I share it with you, now we both have that tune. A guitar is natural, a tune is spiritual.
Money is spiritual.
A spiritual force that can be used for good or for evil. What we do with it is really up to us.
Money is a spiritual force because it is not limited. There is always more, and you can make more. You can give money and get something of value in return, and both parties are better off. Money is what makes our society function. I believe that money is a gift from God. And we know that every perfect gift comes down from the father of heavenly lights who does not change.
Another comment Rabbi Lapin makes is that money is a token that shows how we helped our fellow humans, our fellow children of God. The more people you help, the more money you make. But only if you believe that making money is good. If you don’t, you will self-sabotage and not receive the blessing prepared for you.
I’ve just been reading about the importance of work in Dallas Willards great book life without lack – living in the fullness of Psalm 23. In it, he says the work is not something to be avoided. God created work, and he designed it as a fundamental structure of love in the kingdom of God. And if we do not work, our lives are wasted. Now just to be clear, there is a difference between your work and your job. They may very well be the same, but they may not. Work is human creativity through which goodness and blessing can be promoted.
Initially, in the garden, God did not intend work to be difficult. That is a direct cause of the fall. But we have been redeemed, and so our work has been redeemed. Yes, we still live in a fallen world, and yes, we are all fallen humans interacting with fallen humans. Still, suppose humanity we reunited under God in love and understanding. In that case, we could, with ease, achieve wondrous things far beyond what we can now achieve or imagine.
So I would propose that we are called to be a blessing and to be a blessing, we need to be blessed. Which we are. God has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing. If money is spiritual, that is included. And it is our job to find the work he has called us to do and manifest that spiritual blessing here on earth, representing the king and his kingdom. Bringing heaven to earth, helping as many people as we can, and if we do our job well. Well, we will be blessed. Because it is the Lord who gives you the ability to produce wealth and so confirms his covenant. Even the apostle John prayed that you would prosper and be in good health just as your soul prospers in ALL respects.
I would also like to add that work is spiritual. Far too often, we think that praying is spiritual and work is not. That also is false. It is your heart that makes something spiritual. Really, we are spiritual beings trapped in a physical body. So everything we do has a spiritual component to it. But it is up to us to acknowledge this and release the spirit in our everyday transactions. That may be in our families, work, friendships, and yes, in our church and prayer meetings. But by far, the biggest impact we can have is if we take our spiritual gifts and callings into the world, into our workplace and proclaim the good news of our Lord and king.