Over the past four days, we’ve been looking at what it looks like to view our work as entrepreneurs and creators not as a means of accumulating fame and fortune, but primarily as a means of glorifying our Creator God and loving and serving others. Today, we examine “the bottom line” of our work. If we believe that it is God, not us, who produces wealth (Deuteronomy 8), then He is the true owner of any abundance that falls onto the bottom lines of our personal or corporate balance sheets, and following His call to create means spending that abundance in-line with His agenda.
As the life of Arthur Guinness shows us, this certainly includes generously giving some of the abundance God has entrusted us with. But too often, I’m afraid that we as Christians think that the only purpose of profit is giving it away. This can lead to unbiblical thinking that the only people doing “real ministry” are the missionaries, churches, and non-profits we donate money to. Guinness understood the biblical truth that nothing could be further from the truth, causing him to re-invest heavily in his brewery as a means of loving his employees and sharing the gospel through word and deed.
As one Guinness biographer points out, “[Guinness] took care of the poor, started hospitals and ran his company in a way that was radical—paying 20% more for salaries…and providing benefits to his employees that would challenge the accomplishments of Microsoft and Google today. If you had worked for Guinness in 1928…you would have had twenty-four-hour medical care. You would have had a savings and loan to help you own a house. Your funeral expenses would have been paid. Your pension would have been paid without you having to make any contributions. The education of your children would have been paid for and maybe your education as well.”
Arthur Guinness is one of the most successful Christian entrepreneurs of all time. But he didn’t see “the bottom line” of his venture as a means of hoarding wealth for himself. Changed by the gospel, Guinness understood that because his work was a calling from God—because he was called to create—his work was not his own. He sacrificially leveraged his brewery to create for the glory of God and the good of others.
Has the Lord equipped you with the passions and giftings to create new things? Embrace those good gifts and lay them down at the feet of Creator God as an offering of worship and service. Then and only then will your work feel like a calling. Then and only then will you be following the call to create.
Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.Deuteronomy 8:17-18
Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.1 Chronicles 29:12
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.Matthew 6:19-20