I think a lot about making money these days. Just this year I have embarked on my latest entrepreneurial enterprise, owning my own lawn care business, which I sincerely hope will start fattening up my nearly-starved bank account. Also, age eighteen is approaching rapidly on the horizon for me, the age where I will officially start becoming self-sufficient. The first step to this is paying my parents rent. At this point, I don’t think I could sustain that.
Yep, learning how to make money is definitely a top priority for me.
Money. It’s vital to human existence, yet at the same time, it’s deadly. Remember, for a hefty sum of 1,100 pieces of silver from each of the Philistine lords, Delilah enticed Samson to give away his strength (and eventually his life). Judas betrayed the Son of God for a mere 30 pieces of silver! The love of money is most definitely the root of all kinds of evil, as the Bible says (1 Timothy 6:10).
But what is a healthy balance to making money and loving money? Obviously, most of us will have to make money to support ourselves, and that is definitely not wrong. As Paul says:
For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12)
It is a very good thing for us to work! We are to make profit so that we might eat! We have two extremes here. One, loving money to the point of worshiping it, or two, not making money at all . . . and paying the consequences of going hungry. So how are we to find the balance?
I believe it all comes down to what our motivation for making money is. Notice that money itself isn’t a bad thing; it is the love of money that is the root of all sorts of evil! Are you making money just for the sake of making money? Do you put in hours of work just so you have some “spending money”? If so, buckle down and listen up, because frankly, you are serving a master who is worthless!
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. (Mathew 6:19-21,24)
As servants and children of God, we must serve Him and Him alone. The pursuit of wealth for wealth’s sake will only lead to ruin. Instead, we should be making money so that we might fulfill our service to God. We should be motivated to make profit not so that we can buy the greatest and latest perk that catches our fancy, but so that we can continue to serve God, wherever He calls us!
That is my plan. Why do I want to make money? At this point in my life, it is mainly so that I can become self-sufficient (AKA: a man). I realize that it is God’s plan for young men to grow up and start their own families, and I want to live it! In my mind, the sooner the better.
That is not to say I am a perfect manager of my funds. I’m not. At all. I am still working to limit my “just for fun” purchases and pool all my resources towards the goal of becoming self-sufficient. That is also not to say that I will be self-sufficient anytime soon. Though it would be awesome if I made lots of money with my business, built my own house, and was completely self-sufficient by 18 or 19, it will probably take years!! Who knows where God will lead me and what He has planned for me in the next few years! But it will always be my desire to faithfully serve Him, not money.
Another quick note is that I am not saying that being wealthy or spending money for “fun stuff” is necessarily a bad thing! God is incredibly gracious, and He tremendously blesses those that serve Him! For some Christians, this could mean that God does bless them with wealth. Still, it should never be our main goal in life to become wealthy. After all, everything on this earth is going to be destroyed in the end.
I also do not believe it is wrong to spend some money on recreation or fun, as long as it is done in moderation. Shoot, I plan to see a movie with friends in theaters this weekend! But again, or main goal in life is to give glory to God and serve Him—not just have fun.
This topic hit me right between the eyes in my Bible time this morning. I was reading in 1 Timothy, one of my favorite books of the Bible, when I came across these verses:
But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:6-10 NASB)
Paul continues with this next verse, which I believe all of us can and should apply to our lives:
But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:11 NASB)