Profit And Profitability In The Kingdom Of God

ProfitAndProfitability

One of the most debilitating fictions embraced by many professing Christians is the notion that wealth, profit, or the pursuit of wealth and profit are somehow inherently evil.

This profoundly unbiblical notion has done much to clear the way for realms of business and economics to be overrun and dominated by anti-Christian worldviews, which then in turn employ the considerable power of economics and business to shape and direct the culture in a manner consistent with that anti-Christ perspective.

So it is that the hyper-pietistic approach to material things that is so popular with so many has played a major role in herding Christians into pathetic little economic and creative ghettos, where the bar is very low and the assumption for most is that the vigorous pursuit of creative genius and the material success that often follows is to be reserved for unbelievers or “worldly” people.

In this climate, enemies of Christ have been ceded the realms of science, technology, business, economics, art, education, and pretty much everything else that determines the nature and trajectory of culture. These keys to the primary drivers of culture and civilization have been handed over without so much as a slight struggle in most instances, and the enemies of Christ have been all too happy to take what we have so freely and cowardly handed over.

This is how we’ve gotten to the point that we are now in America.

And this is the radical life- and culture-destroying lie that we must lovingly confront and correct right here and now as best we are able with the tools and opportunities given us in accordance with the Gospel-fueled Great Commission.

In the Kingdom of God, which we as Christians are commanded and equipped by Christ (the King of the Kingdom) to herald and advance in every realm of creation here and now at every opportunity given (see: 2 Corinthians 10:5), profitability is a beautiful thing.

In the Kingdom of God, all things, including wealth and the many things wealth enables and allows us to discover and enjoy about the Nature of God, are reconciled to Christ by the power of His blood and work on the cross (see: Colossians 1:15-20).

In the Kingdom of God, the love of money or material wealth so regularly warned against in Scripture is cast aside by the grace of God for a love of God that enables His people to fully pursue and enjoy all things profitably…which, by definition, produces profit for His people: Profit in knowledge and discipline acquired, profit in experience gained and challenges overcome, and profit also, at times, in the form of material wealth and resources.

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Both profit and profitability in their true, pure forms, cleansed of sin and centered on Christ’s Nature as revealed in His Word, are indeed beautiful things.

These ideas on profit and profitability have been on my mind for a while now, particularly as my family strives to chart a course to profitability (in all ways) centered on the Lord who has placed us where we are now for the purpose of advancing His Kingdom and glorifying His name through the use of incredible tools and opportunities the likes of which would have been unfathomable just a few generations ago.

These things are also on my mind as I move past yesterdays introductory Building Lifeboats Of Christian Culture As The American Titanic Sinks Beneath Our Feet (Part 1) and on into deeper consideration of things like family economic and business pursuits from a King- and Kingdom-centered perspective.

If we love money, we are doomed.

If we love material profit or the pursuit of material profit, we are doomed.

If we love anything (or anyone) above God, we have built an idol, and in doing so we have turned that thing into a destructive force in our lives.

This goes for parents, children, money, patriotism, America, spouses…anything can become an idol.

This is an essential truth to hold close as we begin to consider how we might properly understand and  pursue profitability in every way, including the potential for eventual accumulation of material wealth, however great or small that accumulation might be.

Furthermore, if we are not content in all things, we demonstrate a lack of faith in God, usually while revealing numerous idols at the same time – idols like comfort, ease, covetousness, and the like.

To rightly understand the concepts of profit and profitability, including their application to material wealth, should in no way plant in our minds the expectation that this right understanding will necessarily lead to great – or even minor – material wealth for us or our families on this side of eternity. There is no such guarantee made or implied in Scripture.

That said, the application of biblical principles can and will generally produce the fruit promised in Scripture, and the Kingdom of God will ultimately conquer everything, leading to a point in time where the people of God manage, cultivate, and direct the material wealth of God’s creation, all by His grace, all for His glory, and all to the eternal benefit of those chosen, adored people.

Profitable contributions to life and culture (as measured biblically) inherently produce profit of some sort for those inspired and equipped by the grace of God to make the contribution in question, whether those contributions take the form of art, construction, programming, woodworking, gardening, preaching, analyzing, or building any good and helpful thing. Often, but not always, the profit realized by the provider of the helpful thing in question takes a material form: a price paid for a product, a paycheck written for labor, or a donation made in supportive appreciation.

We need to stop shrinking from the God-glorifying beauty of this arrangement. We need to stop apologizing for wealth if and when we properly acquire it and we need to stop avoiding its acquisition in the first place for fear of how “worldly” we might look.

We need to truly be content in all circumstances – be they inclusive or bereft of material wealth – and happily use whatever we’ve been given – great or small – entirely for the advance of the Kingdom and honor of the King.

Remember: King Jesus made everything, King Jesus owns everything, and King Jesus is perfectly using everything at all times to accomplish His purposes.

He has commanded that all things be lovingly subjugated to Him by the power of His Spirit-filled people doing His Will by His grace in accordance with His Word as Great Commission.

Faithful execution of that mission will bring increasingly great opportunities, increasingly great responsibilities, increasingly great successes and increasingly great advances in every area of life as His Kingdom advances throughout His creation by His grace and for His glory.

This is how things naturally and properly work in God’s economy.

And as His Kingdom conquers temporarily corrupted territory in space and time throughout every corner of His cosmos, this will become more and more plain, bringing more and more praise to His perfect name.

These are some thoughts I wanted to share on profit and profitability as we roll towards further consideration and application of biblical principles in the area of economics and the many realms of life and culture directly (and purposefully) linked to economics..

I hope that they’ve been profitable.


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