Money without purpose is just money. However, money with a purpose can be used to change the world. It feeds the poor, builds shelters, and changes lives and souls for the kingdom of God. Money with a godly purpose can be revolutionary.
If you desire money solely for material things, you will never be content. Many of the happiest and most successful people in the world have found their purpose in life. They know exactly what money can do to help their families and help others. If you had more money what would you do with it? Who would you help? What would your days, weeks, and months look like? Unless you can envision how you will use money to better the lives of others, no amount of money will fill you up. It is only Christ’s love that fills the void in your life. As you grow closer to Him, He will help you find your purpose—your unique calling.
Matt Bell is a friend of mine. In his first book, Money, Purpose, Joy, Matt talks about ways to find more purpose with your money. Early in his life Matt thought he had found his purpose. Out of the blue he inherited $60,000 from an uncle. He knew he wanted to do something noble with the money and decided to start a business.
He looked at what he was passionate about and ended up developing a golf newsletter. He played some of the best courses in the world and wrote about them. The only problem was he had a very limited subscriber base and wasn’t making any money. This continued for years until Matt had not only burned through his inheritance, he’d racked up $20,000 in credit card debt.
With this experience under his belt, Matt sought to study how money works and how to develop financial purpose. Matt recalls, “A person who can turn a $60,000 blessing into a $20,000 debt has a lot to learn about money. This fueled me to want to learn about wise ways to use money for a better purpose.”
With his newfound learning, Matt worked his way into the corporate world and quickly made his way up the ladder. A high-paying corporate job was not his purpose, however; he knew he wanted to be able to write and speak full-time.
What are you on earth for? Millions have read Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Life and found a sense of purpose. Have you found purpose in a certain career, position, or situation? What is God calling you to do?
Where is Your Passion?
Why do so many people have trouble finding their passion? Often it is so far beneath the surface that it is out of sight and out of mind. If you have a relationship with Jesus, are you passionate about Him? Money tends to be the primary motivating factor for many as they choose a profession, but most would not identify money as their true passion.
In his book Marketplace Christianity, Robert E. Frasier says:
For people who are passionate for Jesus, there are dozens of well-trod paths into ministry but few into the marketplace. Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m so passionate for Jesus, I just have to go into business”? Why don’t we hear that? Because, without ever saying so, most Christians believe that a marketplace vocation and passion for Jesus are mutually exclusive. This is one of the great tragedies of modern Christianity, and it has robbed millions of people of their passion and purpose, and robbed the Son of God of His inheritance in us.
God has instilled a passion within you. He has programmed within you a desire to participate in activities that are natural, rewarding, and fulfilling. Some find these early on. Others never truly discover their passion. Almost every successful person I have met found a way to consistently tap into his or her passion. Once they found a way, they also discovered how to earn a living through it.
If you discover what your interests and passions are, you will always be far more successful than if you just go through the motions. Take some time to search yourself and determine what really makes you tick.
A great resource I have found to help you evaluate your passion can be found at 48days.com. Dan Miller, president of 48 Days, specializes in creative thinking for increased personal and business success. He believes the most effective life plans are achieved by integrating natural gifts, unique personality traits, and one’s own values and passions.
In No More Mondays, Dan writes, “I believe every one of us has a unique calling. It’s certainly not something reserved for a chosen few who end up as pastors, priests, or monks. We all fulfill that calling being excellent as we express or talents and abilities, and our dreams and passions. Anyone can do a job, but a calling is lived out by a person who has tapped into wisdom that goes beyond education and intelligence.”
Dan is active in helping individuals redirect careers, evaluate new income sources, and achieve balanced living. He believes a clear sense of direction can help us become all that God designed us to be.
It is important to begin taking action. Your financial plan starts when you clarify your priorities. Whether you want to save for a new home, start a new business, send children or grandchildren off to college, fund a ministry, or plan for retirement, planning is a key to success.
To get started, write down what you want to accomplish in order of importance. Once your list is prioritized, start right away with the first goal or accomplishment on your list. What will it take for you to realize this accomplishment? Keep focused on your goal and work toward your desired outcome until it is complete. Once this goal is completed, start the process again with the second priority on your list, then the third, fourth, fifth, and so on. It does not matter if you are not able to do everything within a prescheduled period of time. However, what is important is that you decide the relative importance of the things you want to complete and are decisive about your priorities. List your priorities in a daily planner and strive to follow them.
It takes action on your part to make a difference. You may be in over your head in debt, or don’t make enough income, or have another reason as to why you cannot save or invest. But remember, where there is a will, there is a way.