Operating a business over the last 15 years I've learned one principle over and over again and I would like to share it with you today: People never work harder than when they work for themselves. Let me repeat: People never work harder than when they work for themselves.
For example, early on, as an entrepreneur, I earned a living through hard work and by overcoming obstacles. I learned that risk has a reward. You see, businessmen are compensated directly based on the benefit of their service. This re-enforces good stewardship of time and talents. Over and over Jesus used parables to teach us the benefits of God's principles of stewardship.
Remember, the parable of the talents? Well, the reason God requires us to invest our talents is because HE DID! God is looking for a return on the investment He made -- the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ for you and I. God is the original entrepreneur, investing His time, talents, and gifts into us, with no guarantee of a return, yet He still risked loving us unconditionally. Glory to God!
I believe the foundation of Christian economics rests on the fact that God is an entrepreneur. He has called us to be entrepreneurs also! When we succeed, we share in the reward, when we fail, we share the responsibility. This is His plan to produce maturity. Incidentally, maturity has little to do with age, and everything to do with taking personal responsibility. Jesus later clarifies this point by stating in Matt. 20:21 that, "To him who has, more shall be given, and to him who has not, even what he has shall be taken away."
In contrast, the world's concept of economics is just the opposite -- to play the role of Robin Hood -- redistributing private wealth for the public good. That's why our modern welfare system is a failed experiment: It violates God's principles, by rewarding someone who refuses to take the risks necessary to become self sufficient. The goal of God's free enterprise system is to reward hard work and punish slothfulness. It's God's method to reproduce healthy growth and prune dead branches.
Is God pruning some area of your life? Rejoice! He wants you to grow up straight! Do you have a business … or are you planning to start one soon? Great! Be faithful in the little things, and watch as they grow into great things! As my pastor, Tommy Barnett, has often said, “find a need and fill it!” Meet people's needs and you will be rewarded …and will mature in the process.
It is upon these principles that our great nation was founded. The whole basis of the risk and reward free enterprise system indeed originated in God's heart. The heart of a Father longing to see his children reach their full potential, which is a model for all business people today.
Businessmen: Reward your diligent employees. Help them reach maturity by allowing them to participate both in your struggles and your prosperity. And remember: People never work harder than when working for themselves. Employees: Serve your boss as unto the LORD. Work like the company belongs to you, and someday … it might!