Financial Freedom & Integrity

by Peter Goulter

Our identity as men is greatly affected by the integrity of the work we do and this flows on to, amongst other things, the integrity of our finances and the whole of our lives. God purposed us for work and he purposed us to be self-supporting, but more than that, he purposed us to be generous.

God has gifted us with certain abilities and skills and when we conduct work outside these skill sets we invariably find dissatisfaction. I tried Sunday School teaching once. It was exceedingly hard and I felt I was not succeeding in teaching or encouraging the children. I only lasted a few weeks as I felt it wasn’t good for either me or the children. But as a treasurer for the church I found I could help the running of the church successfully and it brought great satisfaction. Why? Because I am gifted as an administrator not a teacher. While I can teach, I can administer in a greater freedom.

When we work within our gifting and do it with integrity, we will generally find a greater freedom, enjoyment and financial blessing.

I was blessed of God to have a good work role model and mentor in my father. My father demonstrated the characteristic of hard work to his children. He involved us in his work. He enjoyed his work. He had a successful small business and went the extra mile for his customers. His maxim was “work is joy”. He was using his gifting with integrity and found work a joy. He told me the day I started work, “Make sure you give more than you get paid and you will reap the rewards”. By this he meant if you get paid for eight hours give more than eight hours.

I practised this from day one and this practice was noticed almost immediately by my superiors because it was not normal. Within a few months I received my first promotion and a substantial pay review because, amongst other things, I gave a good measure. It is the principle of sowing and reaping at work.

Be honouring to God with how you use your gifting and talents and He will bless you.

There are few people who walk this earth who do not want more money. When I was young I had a desire to be rich (a love of money) and I set out on a path to make heaps. It was all about me and there were minimal rules about the method to gain at others’ expense. Thankfully God intervened when I was a young man and without that intervention I hate to think what kind of a financial monster I may have become. Over the years I have worked with a number of very wealthy people and have noticed that no matter how much money these people have, they still need a little bit more. They will even genuinely proclaim this in discussions. The issue facing all men, whether you are rich or poor, is the love of money.

When we start to reap financial reward from our work we need to remember where this provision has come from and who enabled the talent that generated this reward for us! Your financial reward is not the result of your cleverness. Your financial reward may be aided as a result of family encouragement or your pursuit of training, but these are also God’s provision coupled with the gifting. To protect us from pride, from the love of money, we need to be obedient to God’s command and to honour Him with our money. This is the discipline of giving to the kingdom and of being generous from the first fruits of our labour.

seedThis deals in broad concepts with the integrity of work and money. There is also the need to be honest in our work, not only in time but also in the use of the boss’s money, assets and clients. We need to review our work practices as to whether we are stealing from our bosses.

The activity of work, work ethic, time management and money are issues that need to be sorted correctly and brought into balance as early as possible in your life, as they are keys to a whole of life experience with minimal stress. These are key decisions of how you live life as a witness to your faith. It is a significant area where principles of sowing and reaping operate. Your effectiveness for God’s kingdom in the whole of your life is impacted by these decisions. It is helpful to make good decisions on work and finance from a young age.

There are no formulas here but you need to review your choices and get wise counsel – from your dad or another man, and especially your wife if you are married. If you have issues seek advice from godly men who you see as being successful in this area of their lives.

Genesis 1:27-30 - Man to subdue the earth
Ecclesiastes 5:10-20 - Riches are meaningless
Colossians 3:23 - Work as to the Lord
Proverbs 10:4 - Lazy hands make a man poor