God has no regard for money—but He cares about you. And because He cares about you, He wants to provide for your needs. The Scriptures carry a lot of wisdom regarding finances and if we follow the advice, God shall bless us with enough in due time. Let us consider some key verses.
Seek The Kingdom
Do not chase after money. Logically, this may not make sense. Because we believe money does not look for people. We assume that if we refrain from pursuing it, we will have less than enough. Well, the verse does not say it is wrong to earn money, rather it is wrong to make it the focus of our lives.
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Let us examine the verse above. The word “seek” means to search for something continually in order to obtain it. We are to focus our lives on pursuing God’s ways because in so doing we will not only have His peace; we also allow Him to provide for us. He knows that we have needs. He knows we require money, but He also knows that chasing money is stressful and can lead to trouble.
If you look at the world today, so much of the evil in it is caused by the pursuit of money. Hence the saying “people will do anything for money”. This focus on money has destroyed families, strained relationships, made some ill because of stress, incited all sorts of illegal activity and brought about moral decay worldwide. Money is not bad in itself, but chasing after it is dangerous.
The next question then is how should one go about earning money?
When you make God your priority, then you will live by what He says. You want to do everything His way. Remember your goal in life is no longer about making money; it is no longer about receiving it is about giving. Follow God’s principles at your station of work and you will be blessed with enough. More on this ahead.
Love People, Be A Giver
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). Now what has this got to do with finances? You may ask. The answer: a lot.
Whatever work you are involved in, if you genuinely care about others you will not have to worry about money. Because by caring for people’s needs you open all sorts of opportunities for yourself. We will first consider a Biblical example then later on, a practical one for our world today.
Most of us know the story of Joseph well. I want to focus on one part of the account however. The time he was in prison, when the butler and baker arrived.
Joseph had worked in the prison for many days. He did everything the keeper was meant to do. The man had been so impressed by the way he served and cared for the prisoners, that he put him in full charge. He left everything in the Hebrew’s hands and Joseph repaid his confidence. The dungeon was peaceful, the king’s servants content and all healthy looking.
Joseph interpreted the dreams of fellow prisoners
Joseph considered the cupbearer’s dream for a while and the interpretation came to him. “This is its interpretation”, he said. “The three branches are three days. In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh’s cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer. Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.”
He provided Pharaoh with a solution for the impending famine
Joseph gave Pharaoh counsel he said, “Let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land and take one-fifth of its produce during the seven plentiful years. And let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to occur in Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.” The men all looked on in wonder at the wisdom that came out of Joseph. Pharaoh was impressed by his interpretation and relieved that he provided a solution.
The result of Joseph’s concern for others
He had already interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams. What the scribes, diviners and advisors had struggled with, Joseph easily demystified. Looking around at his servants Pharaoh said, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the spirit of God?” They all acknowledged that there was none. And facing Joseph he said, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none as discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you. See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Pharaoh then got up from his throne and walked towards Joseph. He took off his signet ring and fitted it in the finger of the new lord of all Egypt.
We note that Joseph was selfless. Remember he was in prison for something he did not do, yet he always had time for those who needed his help. He interpreted the cupbearer’s dream and the man eventually spoke to Pharaoh about him. His kindness towards others led to his promotion and he had more than enough.
Be Diligent In Whatever You Do
To be diligent means you do everything in a careful and detailed way. In short you give your all or the very best. Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance.” Reminding you that your goal is not to get more but do the best because you care about people.
Being diligent in anything requires more effort. This is why hard work is a good thing. Because through it you give your best. And good things take time.
When we do things well, people get the impression that we do care and want to work with us more. That in itself leads to promotion. It may not come instantly; you may have to do things the right way for a while. But eventually you shall be rewarded.
Get Wisdom To Excel In Service
In the previous part we talked about doing things well. However we cannot have excellence if we do not seek wisdom. Our number one source of wisdom is God. However we also need the counsel of those in our field who have excelled.
Another proverb in the Scriptures says, “In the abundance of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14). This counsel can also come from written information of which there is no shortage on the internet. We should learn how to better serve others by improving our own skills and putting in the right amount of effort.
So now let us take a practical real-world example to see how the above principles can be applied:
Let us imagine you know much about cooking and decide to open your own restaurant.
Typically you will find a location, employ some people, establish the food/menu and equip the restaurant with all amenities.
If we were to apply the principles from the Scriptures we would do it this way:
First we would ask God for His wisdom on how best to establish the restaurant and whether we should in the first place. As hard as it may be to accept, sometimes God does not want us to pursue certain ventures. And when you get the impression He is saying no, do not ignore it. There are too many true stories of people who started undertakings just before unforeseen circumstances hit. And they lost everything they had invested.
If we get the green light from God, then we can go ahead to plan for the restaurant.
To begin with we make the assertion that the restaurant’s goal is not to make us richer. It will be used as a tool to serve people; not only with food but also with love. We shall use it to get to know the people near us, put some food aside to help the needy and be a light to those who are not believers. In other words we will let our good character shine in our service. We shall be honest with every customer and treat them the same regardless of their background. Kindness shall be our language and we will genuinely look out for their wellbeing whenever the opportunity arises.
Once the mission is established we move on to consulting. We find out all we can about how to provide excellent services in a restaurant. We make ourselves aware of the challenges that are to be expected and decide whether we are in position to deal with them. We talk to several individuals who have excelled in the same field and ask them as many questions as we can. We take note and apply their wisdom.
Next we set up the restaurant doing everything with excellence, from the paint on the wall to the clearness of a water glass. The people or individuals we employ should share our vision otherwise there will be challenges in implementing.
Finally we open the restaurant to the public and run it based on the principles above. A reminder yet again that the motive is not to make money. If you get one customer in a day and treat them to excellent service with kindness, then you have achieved your goal for that day. Keep doing this and the rest will take care of itself. You will not have to chase after money, yet you will receive both fulfillment and financial provision from God.
To conclude, although we live in a world where many aspects of life are affected by our bank balance, we can choose to do things God’s way. I am not going to tell you it is an easy road to take because doing things right is almost always more difficult. What I can promise you is that this wisdom cannot fail because it is from the Bible and everything there proves true when applied.
So do not concern yourself with the pursuit of money. Focus on loving and serving people from wherever you are and “all these things will be added to you.”