Saturday, 16 October 2010
Somewhere along the line, generating income became an unpardonable sin within Christendom.
I’ve written on this subject before, but I think it bears revisiting.
I’m going to go on the record, once and for all, that I think it’s acceptable for a Christian to make money. Lots of money, in fact. Let me explain.The Spark to Provide
I’m in a class with some of the other guys here on staff at my church and the curriculum we’re walking through laid out a definitive challenge recently. I’ll spare you the details, suffice to say that part of challenge as husbands and fathers that we face is making sure that our families are adequately provided for financially.
I find myself rising up to this challenge more and more. One of my goals is to build a financial legacy for my children to allow them to go further and faster than I ever could. No longer am I satisfied with “well, we’ll trust God to provide,” or “we’re just waiting on the Lord.” I see this ideology in people and it drives me berserk. This type of mindset is nothing more than an excuse for inaction. Laziness enabled by spiritual malpractice.
Kingdom Partners Who Build
I believe God desires spiritual partners to accomplish the work of making the “Kingdom come” from Heaven to Earth. He wants partners, not automotons. When we sit lotus-style, holed off in a room somewhere, endlessly asking for God to “give us a sign!”, we’re neglecting the fact that as followers of Jesus, we have his Spirit inside of us, leading and guidng the way.
That being said, I think there’s an innate drive in all of us to succeed. To excel. To craft something truly brilliant and let the world see it.
Whether it be an oil painting.
Or a well-coded website.
Or a brilliant piano recital.
Or a completed spreadsheet of the family budget.
We create and in turn want to be rewarded for that creation.
Sometimes those rewards are purely internal–the sheer joy and satisfaction for a job well done. Sometimes those rewards come in the form of a “thank you” or some other form of verbal encouragment or recognition. But sometimes, those rewards come in the form of a big, fat pile of cash. Are you okay with this?Jesus Wants You to be Poor
Traditionally Christians get skittish around the idea of money. Perhaps it’s because of Jesus’ words, “You can’t serve both God and money,” that we get uncomfortable with the idea of generating a healthy income.
Perhaps its the stigma that’s been attached to success because of the gaudy televangelists who take advantage of naive people (and their checkbooks).
Maybe it’s the fact that we plain don’t believe that we’re worth it. But you are.
Now, not everyone would agree with me on that. That’s okay. I think if you look deep down inside, you’ll find it to be true. You want to be rewarded just as much as the next person. Be honest with yourself and admit it. If you want to look at it biblically, even Jesus endured the cross for the reward that was in front of him. He knew what the reward would be for his work. That reward made his work endurable.
This false financial martyrdom is something that I no longer will take part in. I won’t sacrifice the financal legacy I want to leave for my children and their children for the sake of seeming pious to people who, frankly, don’t know me.
What I want to know from you is if you see this mindest at work? Have you ever felt the drive to be financially successful only to have it stamped out by those around you? If so, how did you respond? Is the drive still there?