30 days of personal growth

baby-calfI heard a story when I was a kid that said if you lift a baby calf everyday you’ll eventually be lifting a full grown cow. You won’t notice the incremental weight because you get stronger as the calf gets larger. But if you skip a day you’ll notice. If you skip two days you’ll really notice. And if you skip a week you probably cannot lift him any longer.

Getting stronger takes purposeful daily action. And in the spirit of that I’m going to embark on 30 consecutive days of personal growth and write about my journey along the way.

My plan is to invest an hour every day for the next 30 days. As I choose resources I’ll be viewing them through the same lenses I use for life and annual planning: Personal, Family, Church, Community, and Finances & Vocation.

Money: Earn it honestly


  • Decision to start on Easter was bold, wasn’t a surprise though; it’s the reason for Christ’s victory – bondages released
  • Listen carefully to what Pastor James is saying; sound bite society but a nuanced subject.
  • We don’t have to agree upon all this. Money is not a major.
  • This series is for the church, right now; not the people who don’t attend here.
  • Pray for Pastor James, that he would see scripture clearly, communicate clearly, and have courage to press forward in this.
  • 2 Tim 2:15 – study is hard work, we are the workman, no shame when you work hard, divide means “to cut it straight”
  • This is a topical study, not straight exposition; caution: topical study does not take into account full context, able to skip verses, the preacher’s bias may get in the way.
  • HBC studied all 2,500 verses in the Bible on money, not all add value on the subject; it was narrowed down to 271 verses (approximately) that add value, provide instruction or present a theology on money.
  • Series: Earn it honestly – 88 verses, Give it generously – 70, It will destroy you – 49, Utilize effective – 32, Enjoy it carefully – 18, Multiply it faithfully – 14

Main Point: Honest hard work for fair compensation assures God will provide for your needs.

A. Honest (Proverbs 13:11)

  • Roughly 1/3 (88 of the 271 verses) of biblical instruction is about honestly earning money – God is supremely interested in how did you get that?
  • Proverbs is wisdom literature
  • Proverbs are not promises or commands, they are observations of the way things normally play out in life
  • Money that you get dishonestly will slip through your fingers
  • Gambling: no specific scriptures against gambling; however, trying to get ahead financially in a game of chance is sinful. It’s ok to bet your buddy a $1 (or whatever) about a put your going to make. Motive.
  • Proverbs 10:2
  • Application: Am I tempted in the market place to shape the sell, to hide the truth, to get the deal? Do I pad my expenses? Do I take cash payments to avoid taxes?
  • Application: Repent of the things I’ve cut corners on.

B. Hard Work (Gen 3:17-19, 1 Thess 2:9, 2 Thess 3:10)

  • Work is cursed, broken because of sin
  • Hard work is honorable
  • Protestant work ethic caused much of the Western prosperity
  • You don’t get something for nothing
  • Fulfilling work isn’t more honorable than “regular” work, all hard work is honorable
  • Busy body: people who talk, don’t accomplish
  • Don’t deprive people the dignity of work by handouts, you’re not helping. Ok to help, but don’t make people dependent upon handouts.
  • James uses reminders in places throughout the day to remind him of the things he wants to accomplish and the hard work it would take to accomplish it.
  • People want the destination, but don’t want the work of getting there.

C. For fair compensation (1 Tim 5:17-18)

  • Compensation is not your worth of your person
  • Compensation is worth of your work
  • HBC has over 400 employees; this passage says the wage needs to match the work; the worker deserves a portion of the increase
  • It’s unrighteous to keep even an animal from sharing in the increase of the work – “don’t muzzle the ox”
  • Fair compensation thoughts: capability, capacity, quality, impact, commitment

D. And God will provide your needs (Matt 6:31-33)

  • Doing what is right assured God will provide for your needs