There are five ways you can interact with money: You can earn it, live on it, give it away, pay it to someone you owe, or grow it for the future. Today on MoneyWise, we’ll offer practical guidelines related to the first of those five: earning.
- One of the things Scripture teaches us about earning is that it is God who gives us the ability to produce wealth. You’ll find that exact phrase in Deuteronomy 8:18.
- And, if you think about it for a moment, you’ll realize how obvious that truth is. It is God who created us. It is he who gives us the physical strength and the mental prowess to do productive work. And, it’s been my observation that he seems to give most people a natural bent toward a certain type of work.
- For example, some people are very detail-oriented and make good research assistants and accountants. Some people are very personable. They make good salespeople. Some people are brainy. They make for good scholars.
- These natural inclinations can be fostered and refined, but we don’t come up with them ourselves. It’s something God puts into us — and not just for work-related purposes.
- Our natural traits may have other applications. But the point is, these things are gifts from God — gifts that can help us make our way in the world.
- This is why we should always be humble about our success in the work world. As Christians we know that everything flows from God. The Apostle Paul touches on this idea in his first letter to the Corinthians when he asks, “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”
- Of course, you and I are responsible for taking what God has given us and using it to the fullest. Typically that will involve honing our skills and also gaining new ones. And we must do things — concerning a job — like show up on time, work diligently, and be trustworthy, knowing that how we work is a means of honoring God.
- GOD’S OWNERSHIP
- We also need to recognize that whatever we earn — whether it comes to us by our current labor, or by way of our investments, or what we receive from a pension, or even by way of Social Security benefits — is not really “ours.” Our “earnings” really belong to God — the One who has given us the ability to make wealth.
- He entrusts those earnings to us to use as stewards on his behalf.
- GIVING STARTS WITH EARNING
- The 18th-century preacher and theologian John Wesley once wrote a sermon titled “The Use of Money.” In it, he urged Christian believers to do three things. He said, "Having, first, gained all you can, and secondly saved all you can, then give all you can."
- In other words, the pathway to saving sufficiently and giving generously begins with gaining — that is to say, earning, as much as we can. Now, we all know that earning potential will differ from person to person, based on one’s skills and career field, and also on things such as one’s health and family responsibilities.
- But to the highest degree possible, we should apply ourselves to earning what we can — so that we can take care of loved ones, save for the future, and be generous.
- If we are able-bodied and of working age, we should seek to earn money through diligent, honorable work, all the while seeing our work as part of our stewardship over what God has entrusted to us.
- Next Monday, we’ll continue with our teaching on the “first principles” of being financially faithful.
On this program, Rob also answers listener questions:
- Is it legally permissible for a church to rent space to a commercial tennant?
- Is title lock insurance a wise thing to buy?
- How do you determine exactly how long it will take to pay off an auto loan when adding extra money to the monthly payment?
- How should you tithe on retirement investment proceeds?
- Does it make sense to use retirement funds to pay off credit card debt?
- Are I-bonds a good option for low-income people to save for retirement?
- Where is the best place to place or invest savings roughly 10 years before retirement?
Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app.