Authored by John Beehner, founder of Wise Counsel, a process for Christian Entrepreneurs and author of the new best seller “The Freedom Revolution...Rocking our World.”

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wealth is Not a True Measure of Success

One of the major causes of economic crisis is greedy individuals in the marketplace.  Unfortunately for American consumers, we get caught up in these "greed binges."  We were all affected by the no money down, no credit check, no closings costs, easy money culture that facilitated the financial crisis of 2007, the worst economic crisis in America since the Great Depression.

Years ago, the Holy Spirit told me, "True wealth is not a  measure of success, but of responsibility."  God loves when his people use their gifts and talents to build relationships and create economic exchange.  But when we believe our security comes from our wealth, and give it too high a priority in our lives, it's like worshiping a false god.  Real joy is found in investing in those spiritual promptings, serving those around us, and helping others change their lives, that is true wealth, and a true measure of a successful life.

Many financially wealthy individuals throughout history have recognized this principle and contributed generously to the world.  John D. Rockefeller, Standard Oil magnate, created developmental research foundations that led to the eradication of hookworm and yellow fever, as well as many educational and Christian organizations.  Bill Gates is contributing to the research of a cure for AIDS.  Ted Turner has donated to the United Nations.

I think we can all agree, we would love to hear our Creator's voice when we leave this world say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."  That is the real measure of success.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Pitfall of Greed, The Value of Humility

In 1898, few people had ever heard the name James Cash Penney.  But by the 1920’s he had made his fortune and was already stepping away from nearly 200 stores to pursue new interests.  When the stock market crashed in 1929 his personal net worth shrank by a staggering 81%.  He even started taking money out of his life insurance so that he could pay his employees.  His health took a terrible turn, and it was in this dark, despairing moment of his life that he turned to God.  This experience forever changed him, and he lived another forty years, sharing his faith with customers and fellow business leaders. 

The first commandment is “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”  God has been trying to teach us this concept over and over again, as individuals, and as a Nation.  He’s trying to tell us that we cannot make it without Him.  He wants us to call upon Him in humility, and let go of our egotism and pride. 

One of the 7 Sins of the Heart is greed.  The greed of some of the top financial institution CEO’s is taking them down, and it’s a wonderful warning for those of us who need to sober up.  As Christians we need to pray for our Nation and that these individuals will be humbled, and find the truth in Christ.  We can also pray that God will help us learn from our mistakes and rise triumphant. 

By the time we put the Solid Foundation back together, we could meet the next Chuck Colson, Conrad Hilton, John Templeton, Sister Theresa, or Ronald Reagan.  Will the next great corporate witness emerge from our current economic crisis?