The Christian approach to creating wealth

gold-barProverbs 23:4:  Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it.

It is the will of God that we have all our needs provided for. In one of his speeches, Jesus said we should not worry about what we would eat, drink or wear, because God cares for us. He however added a caveat saying that we should seek first the kingdom of God and his righteous to and all what the non-believers seek will come to us (Matthew 6:24-34).

We are to see God as our source, the source of our wealth. That was the same idea that God wanted to impress on the Israelites moving them to the wealthy land of Canaan, telling them that they should put it in mind that it is God who gives them the power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:12-20). So they wold not relax and begin to have a false sense of self sufficiency and forget God.

In his letter to his Corinthians, Paul shows that the intention is that we would have all sufficiency in all things that we can come into being financially relevant to others and the things of God (2Corinthians 9:8-15).

But what God wants first and foremost is that we be free from the entanglement of covetousness (Luke 12:15, Hebrews 13:5), greed and being subservient to mammon (Matthew 6:24-34).

There was ministry partner of Paul who later on, stopped following him because of the lure of money. Money has its appeal, but it must not contend with the will of God in our life. To test the obedient level of the rich young ruler, Jesus told him to go and sell all he had  and give to the poor (Matthew 19:20-24).

It’s all about what God wants that determines the use of wealth. Those who are rich in this world are supposed to be rich in good works and be quick to distribute (1Timothy 6:17-19), readily giving to others.

Hoarding is never a part of righteousness. I am not talking about saving; even God saves the best for the last in the manifestation of his glory (Haggai 2:9); But it is written that there is a person who keeps back more than it is necessary but it tends to poverty (Proverbs 11:24-28).

Also we find in scriptures that to cause unnecessary scarcity of a product to drive up the price is frowned against (Proverbs 11:24-28). That is not a Christian way to make wealth.

For all your life to be about getting wealth is frowned against by the bible; you are warned that riches can actually, develop wings and can fly away at any time, especially with that attitude (Proverbs 23:4-5), because it is not tamed. You need to have tamed yourself before you can tame money, tame wealth. But hard work and industry is encouraged (which helps to tame self with regards to money).  The woman spoken of in the book of proverbs chapter 31 was a very industrious woman (Proverbs 31:10-31).

She is not just that but she is an epitome of balance, balancing her social, family and business life effectively, showing that she is a woman of wisdom.

She is a self-employed woman of substance, with total control of her financial status, showing that owning a business (or businesses) is her source of wealth.

James berated those who are wealthy but refuse to pay their employees (James 5:1-6). What I got from that concerning creating wealth is the importance of owning your own business. Being wealthy is somewhat synonymous to being an employer. And in that passage from James, it is a direct reference to business owners who were either miners or farmers, having something to do with the field.

(God wants to download business ideas into your mind.)

When Isaac was at a crossroad and the whole region where he was, was in famine (Genesis 26:1-6, 12-14), and he was facing a sudden crash of the wealth he inherited from his father, he had to invest in farming, using an opportunity that was not obvious to others and that was an act of faith.

But the freedom of owing your business is not for everyone; and not all the time. If you are employed, don’t just jet out from it because you see someone else doing business and is self-employed. There is a call to business, and that is as a reservoir of wealth to distribute as God wants.

In the New Testament, there is no emphasis on accumulation of money, but there is a special eversion to accumulating it in the wrong way. There is the elevation of diligence in the scheme of things.

Paul had a skill as a tent-maker and at a time he was a partner with Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:1-3). He was an employee and the duo was his employer.

Laziness is especially frown against and people are admonished not steal but work with their hands so as not to constitute a burden to anyone (1Thessalonians 4:11-12, Ephesians 4:28, 2Thessalonians 3:7-12, Titus 3:14).

So you have a skill, an ability? You can turn it into money via your own business, but you may need to wait for the right time and opportunity. Also you need to know if you should start out on your own or put such skill(s) first to use in another person’s enterprise like Paul did.

Jesus had the skill of carpentry. He learned the skill from his father and took over his business after his death (Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3).

The culture of amassing wealth to the detriment of relationship with God is not encouraged in the bible. But nowadays we seem have work schedules that are “calculated” to harm our relationship with God and severely limit our attendance of spiritual fellowship. If care is not taken, it would seem the whole of our life is geared after following where money leads, not where God leads.

The first call of every Christian is to be like Christ and not make money. And when God trusts you with more money we should be careful not to betray that trust.

It was God who provided the children of Israel with the gold as they were leaving Egypt, causing them to obtain favour in the eyes of the Egyptians (from whom they got the precious metal) as they left there to embark on their journey to the Promised Land. But when they were feeling bored, they turned their back on God, turned the gold into god and worshipped it, danced around it (Exodus 32; 12:35-36,). Do you dance around the God, or money (what makes you more excited, which absence depresses you)?

God elevated David into a position of prominence and wealth but there came a time that he had too much time on his hand (2Samuel 11). You know that can happen sometimes when you are on the wealth curve, and a time comes that you don’t need to lift a finger for thousands/millions of dollars to flow into your account on a daily basis (and there is nothing wrong with that). You might have too much time on your hand; with idleness you are susceptible to pursue the excitement of sin, e.g. in illicit relationship.

David fell into the sin of adultery, betrayal and murder because he could not manage his position of greatness.

The woman described in the book of Solomon, the virtuous woman, was into buying and selling properties.  Properties are resilient when it comes to wealth creation and maintenance. That woman was praised for her sense of judgement. Trust God to make the right business decision when it is time to invest in properties and to sell them at the right time, to the right customers.

Working the land can be in the areas of mining or agriculture. Agriculture is the most mentioned business in the bible (that proverbs 31 woman actually planted a vineyard). You do the “dirty” job for people and you get to make profit from it. The more you serve the better your profit margin, bringing the issue of marketing into the whole wealth creation.

This also encompasses the production of goods (information technology, manufacturing etc), in all its shades.

The truly wealthy own their businesses.

Build wealth but there should not be an hastiness about it as advised by the focused verse. The love of money is exhibited by the hasty, and it is the beginning of all evil. We are warned that those who “would” be rich in this world pierce themselves with many sorrows (1Timothy 6:6-11). We are not supposed to put our mind to riches, nor trust it, but to have our mind on God and trust him (Mark 10:24, 1Timothy 6:17-19).

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