If we make alot of money does that mean we are evil?
1 Timothy 6:10 (New International Version)
10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
I believe that this verse from 1 Timothy is one of the main verses that give Christian business owners pause in seeking profits as the primary measure of success in their business. In a survey I did in 2009, guilt over desiring profits was a core conflict for Christian leaders.
I have to admit at times I have even felt this way. If I use my business talent, time, and skills to increase sales and increase profits will God be upset with me?
We Get Caught Up in The Circular Logic
It’s a circular internal argument if you think about it. If I don’t earn a profit I will go out of business. What is the difference if I earn a profit in my own business in order to support myself and my family or go to work for someone else and earn a salary from their profits?
If I want to provide a stable income for my employees to take care of their families then I need my business to make enough money, right? If I want to share my passion for my product or service with others then I have to focus on getting it out to people. If I don’t make a profit I will close down and then I can’t share my products and services.
You see how you can go crazy with this circular logic?
Money or The Love of Money?
I am sure like me, you have all heard that it isn’t the money that is bad, it’s the love of money that is the root of all evil. Okay so how do I measure “love of money”. Some people say that our love can be seen as where we put our time and attention. This just puts me back into the circular because it takes time and attention to run a profitable business. It’s hard work. It takes consistency, time and effort to start, grow and sustain a strong business.
To get off the hamster wheel of circular logic, this is my thought process:
- God gives us our talents and skills and He also gives us our vision if we are following Him. Is your business a calling from God? I don’t mean that it must be a Christian business to be a calling from God. My point: Did God put it on your heart to open your own business? We don’t have to sell a Christian product or service to have a Christian culture and foundation for our business.
- We are supposed to do everything to glorify God. That means God wants us to really try hard in our business or if we work for someone else. God expects us to have a strong work ethic.
- We are supposed to build our lives on Christian values. To me that includes my business. Is your business built on a foundation of Christian values and business ethics?
- God calls us to be good stewards of His resources. We have to remember that none of the money is ours anyway. It is all God’s. If you remember the story of the servants and the master’s talents in Matthew 25:14-30 it is clear in this parable that we are expected to invest our master’s resources wisely. We are expected to do more than just keep it safe as did the servant who hid the talent he was given. The master praised the servants who multiplied his resources while he was gone.
- God calls us to help others. This can be in many different forms, but some people help by providing resources for those in need. This can be financial resources or more specific to services. The one thing I do know is having a healthy financial life provides us with choices. If we have abundant financial resources we are able to help many people in many ways. This is where our attitude comes in to play. If we have a true “love of money” we are not likely to be very generous. This is a great way to check your heart. Is it hard for you to do for others? Do you share your resources with others in need?
It’s About Our Heart
I guess the summation of these points is that it really is our attitude.
If we have started a business because we feel called to use our God given gifts and talents this way….
If we throw our heart and soul into our work to glorify God…..
If we make sure that we bring our faith into our business decisions and look to God for direction in all that we do …..
and if we are good stewards of His resources by providing stable employment to other families and using our own rewards to generously give back to others…..
Then there is absolutely nothing to feel guilty about!
Let’s get off the hamster wheel, quit wasting emotional energy on guilt, and put our heart and energy into glorifying God through our business! What are your thoughts? Let’s start a dialogue in the comments!