“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born, and the day you discover why you were born.” – John Maxwell
Sadly, we’re very clear on the first day…but the second day…the day we discover why we were born, is often vague and shrouded in mystery.
I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine (thanks Chris!) and as he was explaining what he does he said “I was born for this.” For years Chris had a professional career in pharmaceuticals. Good pay, good benefits, you get the picture.
Now he works at a church and even has to raise his own support to cover his monthly expenses for him and his family of five.
Worth it? In his words…absolutely. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.
You see…too many people pursue profit at the cost of purpose. Financial security is so seductive.
Jesus said in Matthew 16 that “whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” Ironic isn’t it? When we seek to protect our lives, to secure up our resources, to pursue the ideal life, we wake up one day and realize we lost it. We have the house but lost our hearts.
I am so tempted by wealth.
At first, I wanted wealth just to be out of debt. God blessed us and we found ourselves making decent money. Soon the debt was gone. And money has quietly turned from a tool to pay off debt to an object to be pursued.
Part of me is okay with this. For years I silently judged people who had money, like there was something wrong or unspiritual about having money. I’ve had to learn that money doesn’t make you good or bad, it only amplifies what you already are.
So maybe the money isn’t my idol. Maybe it’s security. Maybe it’s reputation (“did you see where he lives?”). Maybe it’s searching for that elusive feeling of success…how I’ll feel pulling up to work in my new set of wheels.
At the end of the day, when I can shut out the distractions, and long after “poser Wes” has gone to bed, I can honestly say I don’t really care what car I drive. Sure I want a nice place to live, but that’s not my highest aim in life.
Cars break. Houses rot.
But if you miss the kingdom of heaven because you’re focused on building your own kingdom you miss everything.
So friends, as you pursue financial freedom, heed my warning. Pursuing profit for the sake of being debt free is a noble cause. But once the debt is gone the profit itself can become your new prison.
Most people define financial freedom as having enough money that you don’t have to work. But too many folks have incredible “financial freedom” and yet are completely enslaved by their money and their desire for stuff (security, popularity, posessions, etc).
I want to propose to you a new definition of financial freedom.
True financial freedom is when money has no place in your heart, because you are full of the knowledge that God will meet all of your needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19) and you live with the constant awareness that this earth is not your home.
Never pursue profit at the cost of your purpose.