BY JAMES “BIRD” GUESS
“Remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth”
— Deuteronomy 8:18
What does the Bible have to say about money? Many people may consider the Bible to be only a book detailing Jesus’ teachings and the principles of Christianity, while ignoring other real-life issues of money and wealth.
You may be surprised to know, according to Biblical historians Craig Hill and Earl Pitts, the New Testament contains approximately ten times as many verses regarding money and credit as it does salvation and faith.
The New Testament contains 215 verses on faith, 218 verses on salvation, and 2084 verses discussing stewardship and accountability for money and finance. It appears that money and wealth is an important issue addressed in the Bible, and must continue to be addressed by all Christians. Could it simply mean that GOD wants you to get your money right?
In these trying economic times, when we are asked to handover 10% of our income to support “GOD’s house,” some Christians may cringe when they have to dig deep into their pockets or pull out their checkbooks to pay tithes. You should consider tithes the greatest investment of all time because true enough, the more you give the more blessings you will receive in your life. What if you have been giving faithfully for a while and are still in a financial hole, having issues with credit, and living paycheck-to-paycheck?
Congratulations! You are one of GOD’s Favorites. You are encountering financial or emotional hardships, but most importantly, you must endure.
There is a story about a young entrepreneur who was once homeless. After obtaining a job as a janitor, one night he found a copy of Think & Grow Rich in a dumpster and read it repeatedly. Twelve months later, after saving enough capital, he decided to start his first business; it was an immediate success. In fact, every business he created eventually became profitable.
Although most businesses fail within the first five years, he somehow made over one million dollars in that critical fifth year. He felt like a business genius and often referred to himself as a self-made millionaire. However, the following year was the most financially challenging he had ever witnessed, since being broke and homeless years ago.
Suddenly, the economy had fallen into a severe recession and sales of his products decreased almost 90%, as most of his customers loss their jobs and cutback on their purchases. At first, he considered it a natural flow of the business cycle and expected it to pass after a few months, but once the months turned into a year and news reports continued to describe the economic forecast as the worst in decades, his financial fear grew.
With his business generating little revenue, he sold his luxury vehicles, moved into an apartment and raided his life savings just to stay afloat every month, hoping and praying for an economic miracle. He also attended church for the first time in years and told himself he did not have to pay tithes because his business was suffering huge losses.
After church service was over, he made his way toward the Pastor and asked if he could speak to him in private, the Pastor agreed. He told the Pastor how he started out homeless, pulled himself up by his bootstraps, and became a self-made millionaire in a few short years.
He also asked the Pastor that if GOD was all knowing, and loves us and we are considered GOD’s children, how could GOD allow his business to be destroyed, and for him to lose everything he had to show for over the years? The Pastor paused for a moment, smiled at him and stated “GOD’s favorites are the ones who have hard times.”
The Pastor then said, “you may have not realized it, but when you were referring to yourself as a self-made millionaire, GOD became jealous, for he is a jealous GOD, and decided to show you that if what you say is true, then become a millionaire again, this time without GOD’s help.” The young man had a puzzled grin on his face.
The Pastor started again saying, “GOD took everything from you, just so you and he both could see what was truly inside you! Some people accept GOD’s challenge, endure their situation, and they grow letting the world know that their success was due to GOD’s grace. While others think their success was all due to their money, intelligence and hard work and they flaunt those thoughts to the world not even mentioning GOD.”
“What should I do now,” the young entrepreneur asked. “Well, you must do what GOD asks of you, and that is to believe and have unconditional faith in his word,” answered the Pastor.
Several months went by and business was still slow. The economy was still in shambles, but the young entrepreneur continued to attend church and even borrowed money from his business credit card just to pay his tithes every week.
His business conscience told him he was crazy to go into debt without foreseeing a return on his money. However, his Christian conscience reminded him that the “more ye give, the more ye shall receive.”
Later that same night, he considered closing his business and possibly obtaining a “9 to 5” job again, something he promised he would never do after becoming a financial success. As he walked in the night, he looked toward the sky as a tear raced down his face, and began praying and telling GOD that he would never forget his grace, his love and his house again.
He promised that he would start another business, one he was passionate about and pay his tithes before his operating expenses. After praying, he simply walked home, read his Bible and fell asleep.
The next morning his cell phone rang. It was his business banker telling him that his $100,000 line of credit had been approved since the government recently passed an $800 billion stimulus package. “YES!” he yelled into his cell phone almost dropping it, “lunch on me next week,” he told the banker. He knew that was all he needed to start another business, and now that the economy was projected to rebound, businesses and consumers would feel confident and start spending again, especially since the government promised to create 2 million jobs previously lost.
Six months later, the young entrepreneur had his new business up and running and business was booming. The local newspaper heard of his new business and since it was one of only a few that was profitable during the recession, they decided to interview him. The editors were amazed as he told his story of business success and told him they would title the column, Self-Made Millionaire of the Recession.
His eyes lit up as he stared at them with a sense of disgust. He stood up and said angrily, “if you call it that, forget it!” “What do you suggest we call it,” the head editor asked. He looked at all of them as he thought for a moment and said, “GOD-Made Millionaire of the Recession!”
James “Bird” Guess is the President & Founder of The School of Money & Wealth, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org