Is it okay for a Christian to desire to make more money? Is it okay to want to be rich? Where exactly do we draw the line between “not rich” and “rich”? To put things in perspective, let’s first take a couple of seconds to answer these four questions:
– Are you wearing clothes?
– Do you own at least one pair of shoes?
– Do you have enough food for one meal?
– Do you sleep in a bed at night with a roof over your head?
If you answered “yes” to every question, then guess what? You are better off than 75 percent of the people on this planet! Truth be told, not everyone is born with the capacity and smarts that will allow them to make a lot of money and practice proper stewardship over their wealth. For every person that’s given these gifts, there are scores of others who try their best throughout their working lives to just stay one step ahead of an empty cupboard, struggling monthly to make ends meet. Ambition in and of itself is not a bad thing, but we need to purpose our ambition for the glory of God and not for the glory of self. We need to try to be satisfied with what God has given us along the way and not be covetous of the material things that elude us.
We often hear people say “money is the root of all evil,” but what the Bible actually says is that “the love of money causes all kinds of evil”. So, while it is our Creator who gives us power to make money, we are cautioned that our hearts will be where our treasure is, and therefore, we cannot serve both God and worldly riches. Thus, if we start putting our faith, hope, and security in our money, we will become idolaters and fail to serve the one, true God. But if our hearts are in the right place and we devote our lives to a higher purpose, then money becomes a tool for ministry and making the world around us a better place.
Don’t Stigmatize Money
So we don’t need to stigmatize or fear money, as the Bible does not forbid Christians from gaining large amounts of money. We need to utilize it for God’s glory. When we strive to keep the right mindset about it and correctly use the good things that our Creator has set before us, very often we find that He multiplies those good things. Of course, at the same time it is also true that one of the most unique aspects of Christianity is the fact that the more closely we follow Jesus, the rougher the road can become. Jesus never promised that life as a Christian would be easy.
We all have a tendency to compare ourselves with others, but the danger in doing so is that we often end up judging harshly: first ourselves (when we don’t measure up), and then others (when we feel superior). We stand a much better chance of leading more productive lives if we stop comparing ourselves with others and lamenting our lack of resources.
We should instead relish our blessings and concentrate on the core idea of how we can make the most of our situation. Once we do this, we put ourselves in a more positive state of mind and a better position to funnel our thoughts into what we would really like to do to long term, in the big scheme of things, and figure ways to monetize our lives around those goals.
Instead of thinking that someday if you save up enough money you’ll switch careers and do what you really want to do, maybe you should be thinking about what you can do now, in your present circumstances, that will line up better with what you really want to do in the long run. If you start making decisions and choices in your job or career right now based on what you like to do and are good at, chances are you’ll increase your potential to make more money.
You don’t have to feel stagnated by some decision you made years ago that put you in the place you are now; you can explore money making opportunities outside of your regular job. Ponder your passions and things you think are fun and interesting, and look for ways to monetize them. Open your mind. You’ve got ideas for helping others, bettering the lives of people around you and for doing good things, so why not put those ideas to work?
As Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf put it, “You cannot help someone get up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself.”
Beyond Your Comfort Zone
When you work for someone else, your opportunities to make more money depend a lot on your strengths, and that’s cool because that’s how and why they pay you. But when you do things where you are your own boss, many times you can capitalize on your weaknesses, by learning from your mistakes and trying things that are outside your comfort zone. Open-minded thinking can put you on track to finding the kind of work that has the right stuff to make you more money in the future in addition to helping you to improve yourself and your quality of life along the way.
The simple truth is that making more money has a lot less to do with how smart you are, and tons more to do with how much action you are willing to take. Of course, we all know this; we might not want to think about it too hard, but we know it. After all, who is probably going to give themselves a better chance to bring in some extra coin each month: The “smart guy” who spends a lot of his down time on the couch watching ESPN and goofing around on the computer, or the “regular Joe” who regularly finds time to concentrate on and explore what it is he’d really like to be doing and then looks for ways to test those waters without fear of failure?
Many times the best way to bring in some additional income is to think in terms of simple ideas to make money and ways to build on these ideas to create a business. Have some trust in your abilities and choose to do something you enjoy, in areas where you have expertise or specialized knowledge. These are the places where you can dominate and prosper. These are the types of actions that are going to give you the best chances to increase your income.
Just Do It
Of course, the old adage “don’t quit your day job” is an old adage for a reason – there’s a lot of truth to it. Even if your current job doesn’t mesh with the direction that you want your life to go in, it is bringing in money right now. It is also giving you the window to go after other opportunities and ways of making money on the side without the stress of having to fund your living expenses.
But be warned, don’t go looking for the “magic bullet,” that “system” that’s going to rake in the cash for you on autopilot. It doesn’t exist. And don’t waste your time trying to copy anyone else’s success methods, either. Oh, sure, use them for motivation and ideas you can customize for yourself. But don’t assume that somebody else’s way of making more money would also be the right one for you too. There is no “best” way to make money.
One last thing to ponder: We all make a series of choices as we progress through our working lives, and the temptation is always there to slowly accumulate more and more stuff until one day we realize our lives have become overly complicated and we have wandered from the faith. But if we try to remember to place God first in our lives and that our blessings do not come from how much stuff we have, it will be a whole lot easier to stay on track. For “the Lord’s blessing brings wealth, and no sorrow comes with it” (Proverbs 10: 22).
See, we can’t control outcomes or results, but we can control our actions. We have control over what we do, and in the long run, our actions (or lack of them) are what’s going to make all the difference.
What do you think? have you thought about your true motivations behind wanting to make more money?