Sunday, September 13, 2015

Money Musings: 01

To everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

We are so often waiting and looking for a good deal or an opportunity. A big score! So often we don’t find it. I propose the reason. Perhaps because they come to those who have. How many stories pile up of peoples success which seems like luck. But in reality it was they ‘had’ so when the opportunity came, “more was given” to them.

I want to strategically set myself up in the ‘has’ category. If I set myself up in the have category, I will be able to seize the opportunities that present themselves and then will I have the 'luck' that is so often an elusive apparition. Luck, as it is so often called is not chance. But rather the taking advantage of opportunities. And at the root, it is diligent preparation so we "has", at that moment when we need it to seize the opportunity set before us.

I want to have, so I can trade. The earnings from trade in any amount is growth that would not have been gotten without trade. So a small growth is better than no growth or simple consumption. And I am not talking about the stock market. A small sure trade is better than a risky high return. John Rockefeller kind of lived by a statement that is something like, “Trade dishes for platters.” In other words, always figure a way to trade up. Making win / win deals is trading up.  

So, guess what... I am in pursuit of wealth. In pursuit of wealth, for me, it is in reality a result of pursuit of being wise… with my resources, or to be biblical with my talents. I have never been ‘money hungry’ per say. But in getting wisdom and understanding from biblical principles, I find being wise (the goal) lends itself to prosperity. It says that wisdom's right hand holds long life and the left hand holds riches and honor. To say I don’t want riches, in a way, ignorantly pushes back the holder of those things, wisdom. Proverbs says, "Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it." It's hard to criticize someone who has saved up a large sum if you consider this scripture.

My knowledge and understanding are still growing. But I believe I can say now, I need to 'has' as the verse above says. If I will ever get to "more will be given". It is a natural progression. Setting aside motive for now, the first building block is the 'has' part. 

Wisdom with understanding is critical. There is a huge difference in knowing I should be a saver (has), and understanding it. I have known since I was a child to buy something you have to have money. So, simple 2nd grade math tells me if what I want to buy is more than I have, than I must save more than I have to get the sum of what I want to buy. But understanding that goes beyond simple knowledge, lends its self to greater than the sum of any savings account. The value surpasses the money I possess. In so many areas of life, when just about ANYTHING happens and you have saved up, it provides greater confidence to handle things, it minimizes the negative impact to my family, it removes so much jeopardy to other areas of life. And it opens doors that otherwise I wouldn't even know about, little alone have a chance to walk through. Know, but sometimes it takes longer to understand. But seek to understand. 

Some would say, talking so much about money is carnal. I disagree. Jesus said if God can't trust is with money, how can he trust us with true riches. The very first chapter in Proverbs starts off talking about ill-gotten gain. That means when Solomon, the wisest man in history, wanted to leave his son instructions, he started the conversation off by talking about money. Then, in chapter 2, in his reference to diligently seeking wisdom, it was compared in a positive light to treasuring up and seeking silver. 

One of the first commands in Proverbs that will bring you success before not just God, but also man, is steadfast love and faithfulness. If we desire to be good stewards of what God puts in our hands, we must be faithful and we must have love. Not greed, hate, or deceit. But compassion and authenticity. After that he says (Pro 3:9-10) Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

I think these three things go hand in hand. He said much more in these few first verses of Proverbs 3. But I can only focus on so much at a time. I am going without saying things like, in all our ways acknowledge him. I am making the assumption we all agree on that. So, for now, I think these go hand in hand. Steadfast love and faithfulness in the first statement, and in all that also honoring the LORD with our wealth through firstfruits lead to promises. Promises of success. That's Bible, not me. 

I am not diving into motive, heart, greed, generosity or any of the other components in this conversation now. These are random musings of mine. They may not flow well yet as I am just documenting my thoughts. There are so many supporting thoughts that haven't been expressed yet. Like any one layer of an onion. Each one as potent as the other. But takes all of them to make a whole onion. This is just thoughts on one layer.