“The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.” (Pro 21:20)
Fiscal management has some foundational principles. None is more fundamental that putting aside some of what we earn for a rainy day.
It doesn’t get more basic that the wisdom of saving, yet most people in our consumer-driven, materialistic culture spend, spend, spend. Credit cards get maxed, and debt is rife. Just because society behaves in a particular way doesn’t mean we have to comply, despite the pressure to do so.
It is the wise who store up and the foolish who gulp their food down. What a strange but apt description of the consumption of what should be put aside. It speaks to me of greed and the carnal nature—something we all need to guard against.
Quick Prayer: Lord, please help me save. Amen.
“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (1 Tim 6:11)
What are the things we should pursue in life? The world and our human nature say we should pursue significance, security, selfish ambition, pleasure, power, wealth, and fortune. That is quite an appealing combination and in essence not all bad.
But what would God have us to pursue? What would He have us chase after and hunt down with all our passion and focus? They are righteousness, godliness, faith, love, gentleness, and everyone’s favorite, endurance.
These are the fruit of the Holy Spirit. As we draw close to Him, we begin to reflect and produce this fruit. Consider how we can pursue these God-given goals; it is well worth dwelling on.
Quick Prayer: Help me pursue what is good. Amen.
“Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.” (1 Tim 6:2)
Do you serve someone who is a fellow believer? You know that God sees you as equals and that he or she has a duty of care, but what should our response be when God places another believer in authority over us?
The Scripture is clear that we should go the extra mile to ensure we are model employees and respect and serve them even more than we would normally do. The other person’s conduct and walk is not our responsibility; it is between him or her and God. Our responsibility is to serve our leaders as we would Christ, to be a model employee, and to respect their authority.
Quick Prayer: Lord, I will especially honor other Christians I work with. Amen.
“Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared for me, and every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds. In spite of all this, I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people.” (Neh 5:18)
Empathy is rarely held up as an important skill for leaders. To me it is all important that we not only relate as leaders to those around us but also to do so with a high level of empathy.
When we consider others in this light, we begin to get revelation of their concerns and motivators. We can place people in the right roles with the right responsibilities for their skill sets and temperaments.
Equally, when things are not going well or there is need to restructure or discipline, we will be able to do so with a level of understanding and respect that comes from a relationship built on empathy.
Quick Prayer: Help me to treat those You place under me with respect, dignity, and empathy. Amen.
“And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.” (Eph 6:9)
In a company, there is usually an hierarchy. At the top is the leadership in the C-suite, followed by managers and mid-level leaders down to those who do the real work and then the seemingly more menial roles of packing, serving, or cleaning.
Every link in the chain that is in every company is critical for its success. From the strategy makers to the parcel wrappers, sales to marketing, warehouse to IT, all are important for the company to succeed.
So it is with God. He sees us all equally. CEO and cleaner, manager and sales assistant are all equal in His mind. So how should we treat each other?
Quick Prayer: We are all equal in Your eyes, Lord. Amen.
“Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labor.” (Jer 22:13)
Workers are worth looking after. You can do nothing by yourself, and those around you who you may employ or lead deserve not only respect and encouragement but also fair pay.
Do you deliberately underpay someone because he or she is young? Do you take advantage of those who fear unemployment or are in financial difficulty? Do you know someone who is worth more in the market but you are profiting from his or her loyalty?
Boss, manager, leader, owner, CEO—God is watching, and He has a heart for the worker.
Quick Prayer: I will always pay fairly. I make this commitment to You, Lord. Amen.
“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (Jam 3:16)
How is your life at work going? Is there discord and disorder and lots of undesirable stuff happening? Maybe this is happening in other parts of your life. While we can always point the finger at others, we can do little to impact their motivation, save for the acceptance of the Gospel.
What we can do is to look into our own hearts and see if there is anything in us that needs to be yielded to God. This Scripture says that the outcomes of envy and selfish ambition are discord and evil practices.
We are called not to envy, which is oh so easy to do. Selfish ambition can be very easily dressed up in the respectability of wanting influence or leadership or provision for our families. Ask the Holy Spirit to examine your heart and straighten out your motivations; I will be.
Quick Prayer: Bring order to my world, Lord. Amen.
“John answered, ‘Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.’” (Luk 3:11)
How much is enough—one car, two cars, maybe three? How many pairs of pants can we wear? Do we need another toy? There are so many things I own that I didn’t know I needed until I saw one. I have more things that Apple has made starting with an ‘i’ than I would have ever thought possible a few years ago.
There is nothing wrong with material things or with owning nice products. The answer, I think, lies in their priority in our lives. Do we rate them above people? Do we not give to those in need because we want another toy?
I know of a businessman who drove an expensive Mercedes. One day he was driving along when he felt God was asking him to sell it and give the money away to a specific cause. He was obedient and now drives an even better car because God blessed him even more. Did he give to get? No, he gave in obedience and was subsequently blessed.
Quick Prayer: Thank You for more than enough. Amen.