Thursday, March 30, 2006

Don’t be Afraid of Money

On a Christian writer’s forum I frequent, somebody asked if it is okay for a Christian writer to want to get paid for his work (there were also a few other issues involved). Here is how I replied:

There is nothing at all wrong with wanting to get paid for your writing. In the Old Testament it says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain” (Deuteronomy 25:4). Paul quoted this twice in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 9:9; 1 Timothy 5:18). Also, Jesus said, “The laborer is worthy of his wages” (Luke 10:7). Paul quoted this in 1 Timothy 5:18.

Yes, there are many Christian publications, online and off, that pay little, if anything. This is often because they cannot afford to pay more. Some do not compete very well in the financial aspects of their business, in the business aspects of their ministry, or in the quality of their publication. Others have a vision of being able to offer better pay to writers, God bless ’em.

There is also nothing wrong with Christian writers plying their trade in secular venues. Is there any place where light can shine brighter than in the darkness? Christians should be involved in every legitimate field of endeavor — marketplace, business, arts, entertainment, media venues, education, government, etc. Let the leaven of heaven work through the whole lump.

Do not fear rejection — if you know Jesus, you are already accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6). It doesn’t get any better than that!

Do not fear unworthiness. Unworthiness is something we think about when we think everything is about us and what we can do. But when we begin to understand that it is all about the Lord and what He can do, fear of unworthiness has nothing in us to hold on to. Go ahead and study your craft and develop your skills, but always fully leaning on the wisdom, direction and ability of the Lord. Remember, also, that God is bigger than any mistakes you could ever make. If you are trusting Him, He will not let you go astray or lead anybody else astray. If you ask Him for bread, He will not give you a stone.

Don't feel guilty about making money, or wanting to make money. Poverty does not come from God; He is a God of provision and prosperity, of abundance and success. He has given you the ability to create wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18 ), so don’t be shy about using it. The world needs to see how godly people get and use wealth.

The Bible says that “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance [more than enough] for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8 ). In context, you'll find that he is talking about money and finances.

Some ministries have a poverty mentality. So they usually go a’begging, and the oxes that tread out their grain go starving. They need to get over the fear of money and begin learning how to use if for the kingdom of God.

The Lord bless you with assignments that pay very handsomely.