“Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.” Proverbs 10:4 NLT
I remember the day I decided I wanted to get my first job. My sister had a boyfriend who was in high school who had his own car. I thought it was so amazing that he could drive himself anywhere he wanted and didn’t have to ask to borrow the car. He would simply grab his keys and start the engine and go. I was envious of that freedom and I wanted to be able to experience that same freedom as well. I could picture that being me and I really liked what I saw. So I made the decision to get my first job and make that vision a reality. There was only one problem with my plan, I was only thirteen. The only place in town that would give me a job was the local newspaper. I could get a paper route, but the competition was pretty stiff and they were not hiring. So I had to wait until I was fourteen, then I could get a job as a bag boy at Publix. So I waited and continued to develop my plan.
The day I turned fourteen I had my dad drive me to Publix and I filled out the application. Very quickly, I heard back that I had been hired. I did it! I had my first job. I was so excited and I remember thinking I was one step closer to buying my first car. I worked hard and as much as they would schedule me. I worked for almost two years, received a couple of promotions, and earned as much money as I could. In June of 1981, right before my 16th birthday, I had enough money to buy my first car. It wasn’t anything pretty to be certain, but it was all mine. The day I turned 16 I was at the Department of Motor Vehicles well before they opened and was the first in line to get my license. The dream was a reality and I was free. Free to drive anywhere I wanted. My vision had come to fruition and all my hard work had paid off. I was a car owner.
Proverbs chapter 10 verse four made me think of this example from my life. I certainly wasn’t lazy in working toward buying my first car. I worked very hard over a period of time. I cannot honestly say I got rich, but I earned enough to buy a car. This example from my own life reveals a couple of biblical principles about how we approach money. First, we see that earning money is the result of hard work. If I had been a poor worker, Publix would have let me go. I had to work hard and earn the money. Along the way they liked my work enough to promote me to junior stockman and then stockman. I was the youngest stockman in the store. I worked hard and, as a result, earned the money I received. Second, there is nothing wrong with earning money. The money I earned went toward a car, but it also went toward all sorts of other things. I was able to learn how to be more self-sufficient and responsible. Working hard and earning money taught me the value of hard work and that having money could allow you to do good things.
You may have heard the phrase “money is the root of all evil.” This is not an accurate quote. The quote is actually comes from 1 Timothy 6:10 which reads, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” If we are working hard and earning money for the right reasons, there is nothing wrong. If we are working hard and earning money because we love money, there is something wrong. The power of my learning experience as a teenager was working hard with a purpose in mind. My purpose was to buy a car, to have more freedom, and to be more independent. When we work hard and earn money in our life it should be for a purpose. That purpose should not be just to have more money. What is the purpose for which you work hard and earn money?
This Sunday we will continue the message series Money Rules. I will be discussing Money Rule #2 and how important it is to earn all you can. I look forward to sharing this with you Sunday. It’s exciting to see what happens when we follow God’s Money Rules for our finances. I can’t wait to see you in church!