Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2
There is no doubt that God is wanting you to do well in life. One major area of our lives is our work. Prosper here and it effects many things – our work relationships, our family, community and finances. There are 5 things I want us to consider from the life of Paul that will help us maximise our work experience and financial capability.
The Apostle Paul : A CASE STUDY (part 1)
Paul was zealous in everything he did. Highly educated as a Pharisee and ambitious for his cause. He later directed this motivation toward serving Christ and the Church. He took advice as needed to fulfill this cause. However, he also worked on developing another skill (tent making) to supplement his primary job (Church planting). Paul was industrious!
The first 3 things we learn from Paul’s work-life:
1. Get skilled
Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 Amplified Bible
Timothy’s work was preaching – Paul urged him to study and work hard to do this well. Some essentials in your career:
– Finish your studies – get skilled.
– Finish what you start – gathering of experience is even more important than qualifications (ensure your CV has depth not just breadth to it)
– Develop new skills on a regular basis
2. Develop more than one stream of income
Don’t you remember, dear brothers & sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night & day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you. 1 Thessalonians 2:9
Paul did not rely on Church for his income – find at least 1 other source of income.
– At least reinvest your profit. Have an investment that works for you (even a simple savings plan will to some degree get your money working for you and provide a very small extra income over time). Remember the story in the bible of the business owner who gave amounts of money to 3 employees to invest. He rebuked the one who simply hid the amount to protect it and didn’t invest it. Warren Buffet says ‘Don’t save whats left after spending, spend what’s left after saving’. A good maxim.
– When it comes to investments don’t put all your eggs into the same basket. For example, a pension fund could be supplemented with another form of investment, in property, commodities, other form of savings.
– What have you in your hand you can use? The ability to write, create, invest, sell … try it!
3. Take calculated risks
Paul took risks : financially, with the people he chose and the projects he undertook.
Safety is not life’s goal. Some people live for their secure pension, or their holidays. Of course, be responsible, eg. Investor, don’t test something new with both feet. Calculate your risks so you go into it with your eyes open and making a reasonable decision. But don’t be risk adverse. Step out and pursue the work you really want to do. Give that thought you have a chance to live.
Sometimes your confidence will get you further than your qualifications.
Paul was able from experience to say to Timothy: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Don’t hold back until everything is perfect
Fear is our inhibitor. Faith is our achiever. Failure is our teacher. So give it a go.
Have a great day at work! See you in Church.