Making a living can be a tricky thing. When you want to make a living, live your life purpose AND build the kingdom, it gets even trickier. It is a struggle between serving God and mammon.
A few years ago I attended an evening church gathering. The speaker was talking about finances in a gospel context. At the end of the meeting, my husband and I waited in the long line to meet him. When it was our turn to shake hands, I asked him about a financial dilemma we were having at the time. I actually don’t remember the question I asked. I only remember his answer.
He said, “Which decision requires more faith?”
What he meant was: whichever choice requires you to have the most faith and to lean hardest on the Lord, that’s the choice you should make.
Choosing Between God and Mammon May Mean Leaving a "Sure Thing" Behind
But when you’re trying to choose between a long running career that’s a sure bet (mammon) and building a business or changing to a career that will help you build the kingdom even more (God), the choice can be tough to make.
Sometimes we make it hard for ourselves because we simply lack the faith to make a change, take the leap and choose a side.
So what can we do to escape the predicament of trying to serve God and mammon? How can we have more faith? How can we walk more fully in His ways?
Three Tips for Serving God More Than Mammon
Here are three tips for spending more time serving God and less time focusing on mammon:
Pray More. I like to pray about business decisions. When I pray about something and get an answer, I feel more resolved to move forward. I can more fully tell myself and others, “I know this is the right way to go.” The more we pray, the more confirmations we receive. The more confirmations we receive that a decision is “right,” the more progress we will make.
Practice Having Faith. If you’re not ready to take a leap of faith, how about simply stepping out in faith. For example, it requires a much larger commitment of time and faith for me to write a book than it does to write a blog post. But writing a blog post creates content I can use for a book. Writing a book means taking a leap. Writing a blog post is like taking baby steps. What small steps could you take to move forward on your path to purpose? How might they lead you to achieving a bigger goal you now lack the faith to pursue?
Live Modestly. During the housing boom I desperately wanted to escape our three bedroom house and move up like all our friends were doing. We almost bought the house down the street. We made an offer on it, but it came back with conditions. After praying about the decision, we felt strongly that we should withdraw our offer. We couldn’t have made a better choice. That house is now worth half what we would have paid for it. We still live in our little house—with our little house payment. As a result, I have more freedom to choose to serve God instead of being required to earn more in order to pay for a bigger house. I don’t have to sacrifice my purpose for a paycheck.
I confess that I’m not the best example of taking a leap of faith. I especially hesitate when I must choose between doing client work that I know brings money into my account versus writing, interviewing people or doing other creative work that I can’t be sure will bring any money through the door.
But I know that when I pray, when I start small, and when I make decisions that make me less dependent on mammon, I increase my ability to move forward in faith. I can make progress in spending more of my time serving God.
What makes you hesitate to move forward in building your kingdom business?
What one thing could you do today to take just one step forward?