Things I need to learn: Stewardship (leader/managing)

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender (Proverbs 22:07).

This is not God’s design.

God gives us more than we need so that we can be a servant to those in need. The idea is not to amass money in order to loan to those who lack it to get even more money through interest and repayment. The idea is to seek out who you can help with education, encouragement AND finances and serve them until they are strong enough to give to others themselves. When you prove yourself trustworthy in a little, God will entrust you with more. Not to spend on your pleasures, but to serve more and bring more joy (Jesus) into the world.

Things I need to learn: One is not a whole number

When I was little I didn’t want help doing new things. I wanted to do it myself; to impress others with how much I already knew. Of course, as a little kid I couldn’t do much, life kept teaching me that. I, however, chose not to listen to life. I was going to do life my way, even if it killed me. And it almost did.

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed (Proverbs 15:22).

After losing my “self” while growing up; because I denied authenticity to gain perceived acceptance, I lost my freedom and my “mind” for ten years because I rebelled against the truth God told me about myself (that I am vile, evil and depraved). Now, twenty-eight years after accepting Jesus and over fifty years since I began trying to impress the world with what I know, I realize that I know only a small part of what I need to know. And others, whether they know it or not, have a valuable contribution to make in my life and I in theirs (if we will let each other). John Maxwell said, “One is too small a number for greatness.” We are complementary. We are synergistic. Together we are greater than what we are individually. And what we still lack together, God will supply, if we ask him.

To “grow” I must become “smaller” in order to have room for the greatness God pours through others.

Things I need to learn: Less is More

I used to love money much more than I loved God (and this was after “surrendering” my life to Him). I am still in recovery. Being out of work and having to trust Him because He was the only option left to pay the bills changed me. Unfortunately, when we started making money again I began to slide back into serving money again.

But now I have the memory of a better way. And I pursue it.

Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil (Proverbs 15:16).

I used to struggle to get rich. Now I struggle not to want more than I need (except to give it away). My vocation was determined by wanting to serve God with the gifts and experiences He has given me. Not the size of its paycheck.

I have learned that when I sought after and relied on money, money wasn’t enough. And seeking and gaining money brought problems with it. When I relied on God, He was and is enough. His resources are limitless, and He brings joy with it.

Less with Peace (Jesus) is better than More with Problems.

Things I need to learn: Diligence

The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty (Proverbs 21:5).

“I don’t have enough time,” Haste screams to me. “It doesn’t matter if you don’t have all your “i”s dotted and “t”s crossed, we have to move NOW!” “If we go as fast as we can and cut all our corners and everything works perfect MAYBE we can make it.” Panic says it is my friend, “I will motivate you,” it says, “I will give you much needed energy. Don’t stop, we don’t have time to think, it all depends on us. Let’s Go!” And a single penny on the track of this bullet train causes devastating  wreckage.

Diligence stands to the side, waiting for me to notice it. It is conspicuous by its lack of Panic. It is not worried about getting done. It knows it will. Or God will supply more time or more help or more of both. Diligence TAKES the time to plan, to think out what may happen in the future. To deal with problems while they are still easily solvable. Diligence discovers efficiency hidden from Haste’s frantic closed eyes. Diligence thinks and plans through the day, adjusting to new circumstances and using them to advantage. Diligence trusts in God to make all things work together for the good for those who are the called according to His purpose. Diligence can scale mountains. Diligence never fails.