American journalist, author and publisher George Lorimer said it best, “It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in awhile and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.”
Oftentimes, success and money go hand-in-hand. People associate and define success by the amount of zeros behind the dollar sign. Even though wealth does command a lot of things, it should never be the sole driver behind an individual’s goals and general mindset. The reality is the definition of success is extremely misleading. The dictionary rendition defines success as: the accomplishments of an aim or purpose, the attainment of popularity or profit, or a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.
However, the key factor not addressed is how, who or what is measuring success. Everyone on the planet has a different methodology. Interestingly enough, the Bible has hundreds of scriptures about money and success. Spiritually mature individuals do not credit their success to themselves or the work ethic they practice; moreover, their lives do not generally focus on the pursuit to grow their wealth either. God provides His children with the blessings to faithfully manage money and be good stewards.
Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 says it best, “It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor – this is the gift of God.”
Moreover, everything is possible because of the His sacrifices – the time, the energy, the actual work and end result, the enjoyment, and the successes.
What does that all mean?
Dave Ramsey, author of The Total Money Makeover, believes he has the answer. “Winning at money is 80 percent behavior and 20 percent head knowledge. What to do isn’t the problem; doing it is. Most of us know what to do, but we just don’t do it.”
Ultimately, Ramsey and the Bible are telling Christians to take care of their families, provide for others in need, participate in unbelievable blessings and be spiritually willing to believe in the impossible. Many Christians associate money with greed and view wealth as a boasting gesture; however, scripture reinforces that if Christians are spiritually mature then money can bring forth success.
Now for the ambiguity. What is success?
Success can be an assortment of things – making a sale, earning a paycheck, balancing multiple jobs, tithing, contributing to a charity, saving, investing, or just going to work every day. But here’s the kicker, success can also be found within failure.
Psalm 1:1-3 provides great insight, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.”
Success is not black and white. The lines to success do not run in a straight line. In fact, most roads to success are chaotic and do not have definitive directions. So, yes you can make little money and still be considered successful. As Proverbs 16:3 says, committing to the Lord provides you with the ability to establish plans but also implies that the servitude to your faith will give you everything that you need.
All in all, the Bible repeats two words, “Be obedient.” This means: serve others, be faithful, use your gifts to create money and success, utilize your talents to help the world, trust that God has a plan, be honest with Him, and do not conform to the pattern of others.
Christians must thoroughly understand that money does not generate success, and success does not generate money. However, owning your monies and success means giving the credit to God – and not boasting. Use your wealth and success to empower. God has provided you with the tools and resources, so you can prosper. He never meant for you to do it all. He never meant for you to keep it all. He never meant for you to be alone. Therefore, it’s important that Christians use their money and success to the best of their ability. Give generously, work hard, and stay humble.
The Bible reiterates the notion that we are never alone. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” God is always by your side throughout your trials and tribulations associated with money and success. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or confused with finances and/or success, it’s important to remember that God is always listening and willing to provide guidance. It doesn’t have to be complicated because the person providing you with opportunities is by your side.
Nonetheless, don’t lose sight of what is really important. The Bible has verses upon verses of spiritual knowledge and you’ll find an array of feedback and analyzation across various media platforms. Money and success are one of the most searched topics because they are extremely polarizing topics. Therefore, it is extremely important to study the Bible, maintain open communications with God, and practice gratitude every day. With money and success comes the responsibility of being a mature person who understands the powerful possibilities of prosperity and generosity. Always lead important discussions, like money and success, with your faith.