A certain businessman was appointed as a shepherd. As is the custom in our church he stood on the pulpit during our monthly shepherds’ meeting and said how honored he felt and he promised to serve God and his brothers and sisters in the Lord faithfully.
Another businessman was in the audience that meeting. He had not received payment from the newly appointed shepherd in quite some time for merchandise he had sold him. This man later told others that he felt bitter listening to the new shepherd. He could not help but think, “Why doesn’t he pay off his debt first before he serves others?”
Another member of our church told her friend how God answered her prayer and made her business prosperous. Her friend was so impressed by the testimony that she told it to another friend. This person happened to have loaned some money to the woman who gave the testimony and had not yet been repaid. I heard she sarcastically said, “If God blessed the business and it’s doing so well, shouldn’t she be paying her debt?”
When I hear stories like these, I feel sad. It doesn’t only disillusion fellow Christians. I suspect that some non-Christians are resistant toward Jesus because of Christians who are not wise in dealing with money.
Christians should be a source of blessings. We have an obligation to become a witness for the abundance of God. Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9:8 – “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
Christians should be responsible with their money. This includes helping and not hurting others financially. Paul also said in Acts 20:35, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Christians should be the party who loans money to others, not one that borrows from others.
Of course Christians can borrow money in some situations. But we must place the highest priority on paying off the debt as soon as we are able. In the event of selling a business, our highest priority should be clearing payables with money received from the sale. It is best to clear debts as soon as possible so that even if an unfortunate situation like bankruptcy occurs, at least others will not experience financial loss. If you operate your business in this way, God will consider you trustworthy and bless your next business.
Let us reflect the abundant life that all children of God should. And let us reflect this even in little financial ways. Like leaving generous tips at restaurants. By not demanding that shop owners pay the tax on purchased items as some Koreans do. By being fair and paying the full commission to real estate brokers when they help us buy a home. As we must do with all things, in our financial dealings let us give to others abundantly as God chooses to give to us.
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