Thomas Fuller said, “Money, like dung, does no good till its spread.” There is no shortage of areas in which we could usefully spread our resources. The process is encouraged in biblical patterns like tithes and offerings, and is reinforced by the reality that is is more blessed to give than to receive.

However, giving, while it may be generous and even extravagent, does not need to be random. There may be those who are simply asked to give it all away. But more often God is looking for a heart that sees resources as an opportunity to bless and seeks way to maximize that blessing. Investment in a successful business venture may provide more wealth with which to bless people over the long haul than a one-time give-away in which businesses are liquidated and properties are disposed of to provide a one-time windfall for some grateful recipients. After all, in the investment approach, lots of people find employment in the successful businesses, and other find housing in the properties owned by the wealthy – two legitimate avenues of blessing the poor, or blessing those who would be poor if the wealthy gave it all away!

It is not immoral for a business to make a profit. The more successful it is, the more it will be able to offer useful goods and services, and employment opportunities that will benefit society – provided that the business is run in a biblical non-exploitative way. Winston Churchill once said that it is a socialist idea that making profits is a vice. He continued, “I consider that the real vice is making losses.”

But there are also plenty of opportunities to give. Giving to the poor, and investing in the kingdom. Christian Education, for example, is a prime example where we may forego current enjoyment for the pleasure of knowing that young people are growing up equipped to love and serve the Lord. Media and publishing are areas where the gospel of the kingdom needs to operate in its yeast-like role, and that will take money. Healthcare and social welfare are areas where generous families and churches must take the lead. As Walter Kaiser has written: “Affluence is always a tool by which people can carry out the work of God in this world.”

Treasure in the Field is now available as an e-book from major outlets for all kinds of readers. Click here to access it in any format, or as a free pdf. Or, you can listen to chapter 11 as audio files: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

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