When I was young, I remember that our family would encourage us to make money. For instance, when we would do chores we would earn P5.00 for it. During the summer, my cousins and I would try to sell whatever we could to earn money. We would make Ice candy and we would create a song and dance number so that we could charge P20.00 for each Ice candy when the ordinary ice candy then would cost P1.00 only. We saved all our money in piggy bank after the summer then we would forget to divide it so we had the next summer to spend it for something fun. We were dreamers and young entrepreneurs.
I also discovered I had a speaking gift. I loved to talk. I fell in love with radio. I was a professional radio jock as early as high school. I also worked sideline as a sales executive for an Internet company and selling overrun goods to stores in the province at the same time. The circumstance in my college life pushed me to be creative in finding money to fund for my college.
It was only when I started my own business that I realized entrepreneurship runs in my blood. At the age of 24 I was running a multi-million business already. But it was only when I met Jesus Christ that I understood what real money is all about.
You see whatever talent, treasure and resources I have attained or acquired, never really belonged to me in the first place. God owns everything I have even if I worked for it. I am just a steward of what He has given to me. A lot of people will not understand this but I have made a personal conviction – that everything I have is just lent it to me. If something is lent to you, then you must take care of it because the real owner will make you accountable for it. The perks of this stewardship is I get to exercise my gifting and bless others.
As I learned more about biblical stewardship, I am ready to pass on these teachings to my children. Here are the core values I am teaching my children regarding stewardship:
- Honest Hard Work – there is no such thing as easy money or shortcuts. You must learn to do honest work so that it can bear fruit. Work hard means doing everything with the best of your abilities and work as if you are working for the Lord.
- Responsibility – The Lord has given you: talents, resources and time. Choose wisely how to use all of these. What you do with what has been given to you has a corresponding, good and bad consequences. You need to be responsible for it. Responsibility is the basic foundation for success. It sets people apart. Responsible people are productive and trustworthy. They take action and follows through. On the other hand, others may have talent but lack the responsibility, misses out on opportunity, is a liability and eventually builds a poor reputation of being untrustworthy. Without responsibility, everything you earn or grow will go down the drain.
- Earn to Save. Save to Give. Invest here and Invest in Eternity. Whatever you earn, save as much as you can. Save so that you can do more than spend, it can be used to give back. Give to the Lord through your tithes, give to God’s work, and give to the needy. Whatever is overflowing invest it in something else. Learn the art of multiplying by putting your other earnings in other things that can make it grow.
But what worth is earning and making money grow if God is not glorified and if people are not brought closer to the Lord? I am teaching my kids that in everything they do, the best investment they could ever have is the one that will make an impact for eternity. I am teaching them that as you earn find ways to be able to bring people closer to God. If it means praying for every person that purchased your goods, then do so. If it means sharing the gospel or inspiring them through bible verses, then by all means be as creative as can be. If it means raising money so we can help our less fortunate brothers and sisters, then do it cheerfully and with excellence. For in the final analysis, your success is not measured by how much you have accumulated but by how many lives you have touched.
To apply this, my kids would come to our office to do office work every Thursday and Friday. Matthew picks up the PABX and connects people to proper departments while Sabrina releases checks and assist Finance if there are deposits or withdrawal. This teaches them responsibility and the same time learn to earn “allowance” while on the job training.
Just last week, my kids were given the opportunity to exercise their talents while participating in their very first Biz Kids fair. We worked hard, planning, purchasing the goods and baking and packing the final goodies. Life-changing lessons were learned in the process. They learned how to cost, produce, package, market, set up and sell. I saw how hard my kids tried to sell their products and how responsible they were in providing the best service. I saw their different abilities and personalities shine. Though we did not earn, our choice to be different and be excellent paid off. We won best booth.
But the best of it came when my daughter tithed whatever she had. It was a priceless act. I realized my daughter understood in her own way that everything she has is from the Lord. Training them on stewardship is a life long process, I hope that I am continuously making a mark on my children and we hope that we can pass this on as a legacy.
If you want to learn more about Stewardship and money. Join us as All About Family brings a new series this August – Saturdates: Money Talks. 4 Saturdays of potent stewardship principles that will change the way you manage your time, talents and treasures.