It's oh-so-easy to let our need to earn money for practical living reasons take over the work we love - and are called to do. Read on as Elisabeth Klein directs our thoughts.
Money and Ministry
By Elisabeth Klein
You can't pay the bills with a Facebook message from a reader that says, "Keep going, you're telling my story, thank you!" Though my heart sure gets paid with those, don't get me wrong.
As an entrepreneur who loves Jesus, I struggle with reconciling the fact that my financial fruit and my spiritual fruit do not always match, that my reward does not always equal my hustle. But I need it to. And I want it to.
There, I said it.
To be clear, making money is not ALL I care about when it comes to my business of working with women in transition. In fact, it's reason number five out of five of why I do what I do:
I love Jesus.
I want to help as many women as I can.
I want my decades of pain to be turned into redemption.
I am walking in the good works Jesus prepared in advance for me to do.
I need to contribute financially to my family.
When I reflect and journal on why I should keep going in my work and ministry, there are many reasons that come to mind: I trust that I am making a difference in the lives of women who are hurting. My life is a beauty-for-ashes story and redemption is its own pay-off. And I believe that my reward is in heaven. (I just need a bit of that reward now for food and electricity.)
Then I think of all the reasons I should quit-and I only come up with one: I don't make enough money sometimes.
Well, if I base my decision on the reason I should quit, I should quit this work today. But if I base it on all the other reasons, then I should keep going.
So, I continue for another day, committed to proclaim truth. God has always provided, is providing now, and will always provide. All I have is all I need, and if I don't have it, I don't need it.
Jesus, in his kindness, led me to the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 which helped me parse out my part and God's part in my daily work. God has given me gifts and placed me in my circumstances. I then must take responsibility for cultivating and using my gifts and praying for my work. He in turn energizes my gifts and doles out the fruit, all the while I live out in gratitude for the results and redemption, no matter what it looks like to me.
So, today, I will do my part until I have nothing left to give. And then I'll wake up tomorrow and ask again.
Thank you, God, for the gifts you've given me. Empower me to cultivate my gifts and embolden me to use them. Fill me with energy and creativity and wisdom. Please provide financially and please provide redemption. Deepen my faith in your provision. And thank you for all the ways you've used me, all the ways you're planning to use me, and every moment of my life where you have taken care of my completely. Until you say stop, I'm moving forward. Amen.
Elisabeth Klein is a coach, course creator, author and speaker who helps women move through the transitions and crises of their lives into hope. She loves Jesus, her husband, their growing brood of young adult children and their grandson, and her friends. Connect with Elisabeth and her resources for women at www.elisabethklein.com or on Facebook and Instagram.