There was once a businessman by the name of Robert G. LeTourneau, one of the most decorated heavy machinery inventors in history. RG LeTourneau started off terribly as a businessman, getting into gambling and drinking at an early age. By 28, his business was under $5,000 in debt (this was back in the 1900s). At that point, jobless and broke, He finds God and surrenders His life to Jesus Christ.
One day RG, goes to his pastor and tells him that he wants to be a missionary. RG’s pastor’s response shocks him, “RG, God needs businessmen too.”
RG obeyed and went back into business, but this time with a new motivation- a new value. By 1935, he was worth $1.5 Million. At that point, RG made a goal to reverse his tithe, meaning he lived off 10% of what he earned and gave 90% to missions and ministry.
What was the difference between RG’s first and second attempt at business? It was the heart- the value. Values drive everything we do, and the quality of your values affect the quality of your work. When you value money as an end goal, your work becomes better when you get more, but often at the expense of other values like family, relationships, co-workers and even integrity.
Truth be told, there is nothing wrong about money, but it does have the power to alter or distort values, just like any value can. How can we stay away from a distasteful and dangerous love of money?
1. Understand that It’s Not Your Money
People find it hard to part with things that they believe they deserve. When money is hard earned and won over, people can’t seem to let go of it, and they should feel good that they earned so much. However, we must remember that even though we earn our keep, it is God who give the ability to produce wealth. Your business, your high-ranking job, your income is a result of the overflowing grace of God. The love of money only comes when we think it’s ours.
2. Make it About Others
To serve the self is the biggest trap there is, and often brings about the love of money. When you work to build YOUR career, YOUR name and YOUR reputation, YOU will get extremely stressed in the process. Making about others and serving others takes so much of that toxicity away. How about doing it for your family, your customers or even for your boss?
3. Honor God
The Bible tells us that whether we eat or drink, we are to do it for the glory of God. Did you know this was part of a letter Paul wrote to church leaders who chose to do things irregardless of what it did to others?
The love of money is best fought back with the love and honor of God. When the heart of the intent is to honor God, and not honor a person or organization, we act in a way that keeps us clear of selfishness and wrong values.