God’s wisdom about work and money (1)
There are about five hundred Bible verses on prayer, and more than two thousand on handling money and possessions. It’s an important issue. Money-related problems can often be the cause of family tension and mistrust. And there’s a reason for this: money and stress often go hand in hand. God isn’t necessarily opposed to us having money, but there are right and wrong ways to earn it. The Bible teaches that money should come through hard work. ‘All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty’ (Proverbs 14:23 NIV). ‘Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, but he who gathers gradually by [honest] labour will increase [his riches]’ (Proverbs 13:11 AMP). God expects those who ‘labour’ to give a good day’s work, just as He expects those in management to pay a good day’s wage. The workforce enables the management to make a profit, while the management enables the workforce to make a salary. An honestly made profit and a well-earned salary are pleasing to God. But our money must also be made through honest work. ‘A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty’ (Proverbs 22:16 NLT). Eugene Peterson puts the issue this way: ‘Switching price tags and padding the expense account are two things God hates’ (Proverbs 20:10 MSG). ‘The Lord’s blessing brings wealth, and no sorrow comes with it.’ When we earn money dishonestly or in a way that God doesn’t approve of, eventually we’ll face the consequences. But if the way we earn money honours God, we’re doing it right.
When it comes to earning money, ask God to fill your heart with a desire to earn it in a way He approves of, even if that means taking a longer, harder, or seemingly less profitable route.
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