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As we do business, we create wealth – not only financial wealth, but also social, cultural, intellectual, and spiritual wealth. The Bible talks about wealth in three ways: wealth creation, sharing and hoarding. The last is condemned. Wealth sharing is encouraged and is often facilitated through NGOs and churches, but there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created. Wealth creation is a godly gift; God says that He gives the ability to create wealth. (Deut. 8:18)

Let’s look at the context of this statement in Deuteronomy chapter eight. The people of Israel have been brought out of Egypt and are about to enter the Promised Land. God tells them what to expect and what to do. He explicitly states that there are good business prospects in mining and agriculture. People are admonished to seize these opportunities. As a result, wealth will be created. But then a danger arises, or rather, two potential pitfalls.

Firstly, God says there is a risk that people will think and say that they themselves have created wealth, failing to acknowledge the Lord in it. This is what precedes verse 18. So God reminds them that He is the one who gives the gift and ability to create wealth.

Secondly, wealth creation is put into the context of the Covenant. God entered into a Covenant with Abraham and his descendants that He blessed them so they could bless others – locally and globally. But, one could say blessings are beyond words. To bless others is to create all kinds of wealth and in turn, share it. This is indeed a part of the Covenant. And one mustn’t forget God – the initiator of the Covenant.

Wealth creation processes, done through business, should be mindful of both God and others. We should always have this dual goal: to do business for God and the common good. It makes a difference. Noah and his sons undertook a massive engineering project with this perspective and it led to the salvation of mankind and creation. An equally impressive construction project was the Tower of Babel. However God was left out of this project, and, built on selfish motives, it led to the breakdown of society.

The gift and calling to create wealth is beyond a micro finance loan or a single small or medium size business. It is about building nations, and seeking the welfare of cities.

“This is what the Lord Almighty says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:  Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city.” (Jer. 29)

Here the people of Israel are in exile. They are in a country they didn’t choose. But they mustn’t sit and sulk, simply go into survival mode, or withdraw into religious ceremonies and meetings. No, they are commanded to start businesses, develop the local economy, and in doing so strive for shalom. Shalom is whole relationships filled with integrity. Business is about relationships with customers, clients, suppliers, staff, community, city, and environment. Seek shalom with all these partners and entities, as you seek to create wealth and prosperity for cities and nations.

Pope Francis writes: “Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good.” *

Wealth creation is a godly gift. Use it – for God and the common good. 

 

* Pope Francis Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, 129

13 Responses to “Wealth Creation: A Godly Gift & Command”

  1. The Aussie in Colorado says:

    Great scriptures thanks Mats. Make sure you use me in the build up to the next Global BAM gathering.

  2. Grant Small says:

    Mats, thank you for this constant reminder. For some of us who bridge the world as pastor and businessman, this is a reminder that both are Godly ordained pursuits and both are blessed. So often I have to remind myself (failing which the Holy Spirit reminds me), that I do not work to provide for the ministry to which we have been called, BUT rather Jesus provides according to His riches through the business in order that we may carry on the work to which he has called us. Too often I act as though I am the provider.

    Also I worry what others may think when they see that my attention is divided. But I have come to learn (and will continue learning) that this is His plan for my life. This is the call upon my life for this season.

  3. Suparno Adijanto says:

    Dear Mats,

    Great seeing you again at CEF 2016.
    I enjoyed reading this article. Keep it coming.

  4. Ralf Elsner says:

    Mats, thank you for this great article! Letting Shalom leave an imprint on our business… that’s it! Let us grow in this by listening to the Holy Spirit and to each other!

    Grant, the even greater vision could be to grow in doing God’s work in your work. Or: being a pastor in your workplace as you are pastor in your church… teaching, training, loving partners and clients and community and so on to let the Kingdom grow right where you are. Maybe you spend, like the most of us, more time at the workplace than in church. So we have to build bridges between church and business, mostly in our mind, and vanquish the division of church and business. What a joy to learn from Father and from biblical words like those which Mats quoted!

    Thanks to Theo Timmermanns, a friend from the Netherlands, with whom I am connected through God@Work-Germany and who spotlighted me to this blog!

    Ralf Elsner, http://www.ralfelsner.de and http://www.god@work-germany.de

  5. Grant Small says:

    Thank you for the encouragement Ralf. As I serve my clients, I share with them my greater Mission, and I am happy to say that every one of them see themselves as part of the Mission. Even non-believers.

  6. Kelsey Kyser says:

    Awesome post! This is definitely something we need to remember as Christians and businesspeople. When we shift our focus, God shifts our results!

  7. Oriyomi Oladeji says:

    Wealth creation is indeed nation building. And God’s mandate is to win and disciple nations.

  8. esiri ufuoma says:

    great to see this mission from business as vehicle.i think we need to develop business as mission into the curriculum for mission schoosl veiwing the biblical and theological basis.God sent Abraham as a business missionary and even kings got to know that the God of Abraham blesses.same with isaac,jacob and joseph as an administrator yet influencing Egypt with a great command,but i stand to be corrcted.the isrealite maybe failed to influence Egypt politically,social econmically historically so a king rose who did not know joseph because thier was no other joseph that rose again with a mission mind to be a blessing.at least if that king dont know joseph,he would have known the joseph of his generation a bussines missionary influencing the state for God.we need every body no mater your trade to join this course bussiness as mission.

    Thanks mats tunehag hope to see some day.

  9. esiri ufuoma says:

    thanks and God bless

  10. Kianna Scott says:

    Great read!

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