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The First Principle of Wealth Management


Without a proper orientation toward Christ, Human beings are woefully and inescapably self-centered. We are bent toward operating from selfish principles, even though we don’t always recognize what those principles are. This difficult fact about our fleshly nature can fool us into thinking we are serving the purposes of God when we are really serving ourselves. We lose grasp of holy first principles and swap them for sinful ones.


A powerful example of this error is the idea that we own ourselves, as well as the fruits of our labor. But this is a laughably false notion. How can I own myself if I am created by an immeasurably superior being who expects from me fidelity and service (Exodus 20:3, Matthew 4:10)? Or how can I own the fruits of my labor if God owns everything, including the treasures of all of the nations (Haggai 2:1-9)? In fact, how can I own even the labor that acts as a vehicle to deliver those fruits when it is God that gives me the ability to labor (Acts 17:25-28)?


Because we live in a material world in which everything is measured by material means, we tend to see the money we earned as something that we produced. We view it solely as a material measure of our material worth. In so doing we forget that God is the first principle of it all. We then forget to consult his values, his desires, or his consent before we use the blessings he has bestowed upon us through jobs, connections, inheritance, personal industry, or even what we mistakenly think of as luck. Those blessings then get spent on pleasure with little or no regard for holy sacrifice of any kind. When this happens, our spiritual growth becomes stunted, and our fleshly growth gets promoted. The end of that process becomes pain and a loss of true purpose and meaning. Perhaps even more tragically, it results in wasted or lost opportunities to glorify God during our exceedingly short lives.


The first principle of properly managing any wealth obtained by the follower of Christ is to recognize that all blessings flow from God (James 1:17). When we recognize this principle, we can allocate those blessings more wisely, and we can better escape the selfishness that so easily besets us.

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