I have begun to research some personal ventures to create a personal income stream in the goal of becoming self employed. The process is fun and empowering but I have been struggling with fear and guilt, especially in the light of our readings of greed and rich nations of the old testament.
I am afraid that any comforts and stability I gain will take a toll on my relationship with God and guilty that I am pursuing wealth to improve my circumstances at all. When you read the gospels, the apostles do these amazing works moving mountains and shaping the first churches all with little material wealth to their names. Will my impact be lessened by material gains? How easy will it be for me to loose sight of God’s provision in my life?
C.S. Lewis actually discusses this subject quite a bit, being a very financially sucessful writer in his time. This is a quote from his book Mere Christianity:
“One of the dangers of having a lot of money is that you may be quite satisfied with the kinds of happiness money can give, and so fail to realize your need for God. If everything seems to come simply by signing checks, you may forget that you are at every moment totally dependent on God. Now, quite plainly natural gifts carry with them a similar danger. If you have sound nerves and intelligence and health and popularity and a good upbringing, you are likely to be quite satisfied with your character as it is. “Why drag God into it?” you may ask. A certain level of good conduct comes fairly easily to you. You are not one of those wretched creatures who are always being tripped up by sex or dipsomania or nervousness or bad temper. Everyone says you are a nice chap, and between ourselves, you agree with them. You are quite likely to believe that all this niceness is your own doing, and you may easily not feel the need for any better kind of goodness. Often people who have all these natural kinds of goodness cannot be brought to recognize their need for Christ at all until one day, the natural goodness lets them down, and their self-satisfaction is shattered. In other words, it is hard for those who are rich in this sense to enter the kingdom.”
I suppose other than a disciplined reliance on God and planned generosity (via tithe) there may not be more to say. I pray for guidance that along with any material gains I attain that I don’t loose sight of whats really important: spreading the gospel and connecting with my Lord and savior.