I know, I know, this may strike some as a little odd but I have never been more convinced of this truth than now. As a Men’s Pastor I meet with guys from so many walks of life and the entrepreneur is probably the closest to my heart because of how they “put it all on the line” every day. I love their passion, their purpose, and their focus in working to impact the community and embrace the redemptive power of capitalism.
That being said, I know there are some rotten apples out there who give entrepreneurs a bad name. In this article I am specifically thinking of those entrepreneurs I have the privilege of knowing either as friends or through the church. In today’s world where entrepreneurs seem to be getting a bad rap, and capitalism is under attack, I hope to encourage some of you and inspire you to continue fighting the good fight.
You can also check out my article series entitled, “Is Profit Evil?” if you would like a little more depth into my thinking on this topic.
I see 3 reasons why God loves entrepreneurs…
1. Entrepreneurs Understand the Redemptive Purpose of Capital
Capital is currency of course, but it is also any asset that can be used for the production of goods and services. It is the vision to leverage this capital for production that sets apart entrepreneurs from consumers, employees, or managers. Entrepreneurs see capital as opportunity to be “fruitful and multiply.” (Genesis 1:28)
Unfortunately most people see capital as something to be consumed or hoarded, rather than leveraged. Either out of fear and uncertainty, or simple greed, humans have the tendency to centralize everything in order to mitigate perceived risks.
We see this very clearly with the example of the tower of Babel in Genesis 11. The people of the earth refused to obey God by spreading out, being fruitful, and multiplying because that would entail trusting God – which they didn’t. Instead they hoarded and centralized their resources out of insecurity and greed in order to “make a name for themselves.” (Genesis 11:4)
Like the faithful servant who put his master’s money to work (Matthew 25:14-30), we are all called to trust God and decentralize our capital so that it can grow and produce fruit. God uses that fruit for His redemptive purposes in the lives of others, whether it be through employment, improvement of lifestyle, or advocating for the less advantaged. Just as fruit provides sustenance and nourishment for others, so profits can contribute to human flourishing when generously released to be productive.
2. Entrepreneurs See Money As Seed
You will find a lot of sowing and reaping mentioned in the Bible because the ancient Near East was an agrarian society that depended desperately on farming. Therefore seed was incredibly valuable for survival, nearly as valuable as money. Sometimes seed could be more valuable than money, especially in times of famine when money might not be able to buy seed. Money and seed are often compared in the Bible or the terms are used interchangeably (e.g. Ecclesiastes 11:4, 6; Matthew 25:24-27, 2 Corinthians 9:6).
So, what is the significance of the comparison between seed and money?
When you look at money like seed it changes the way you approach how you manage your resources. Entrepreneurs get this. Seed is only as valuable as the crop it produces. Stored seed is valuable to a point, but it must eventually be released and planted in order to bear fruit for the benefit of society.
This is the point to the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:13-21. Aside from the fact that the rich fool would not get to use all the grain he stored up for himself, he also prevented his harvest from benefitting the broader community. He was fruitful but was disobedient to God’s command to “multiply” (Genesis 1:28).
Entrepreneurs understand this truth about money more profoundly than most of us. Loaning it, investing it, or giving it to charity is like sowing seed. You have to trust God to produce the harvest and releasing that seed, or money, is the only way to accomplish that. There is work still to be done to care for that seed but ultimately it is God who makes it grow (1 Corinthians 3:6-7, this passage is referring to the gospel but the same principle applies).
3. Entrepreneurs Embrace Risk & Exercise Faith
We are so fear-driven today and living with a scarcity mindset when it comes to money. We’re worried about whether we will have enough day to day. We’re worried about having enough to retire. Then we’re worried we won’t have enough to last our whole retirement.
The manipulation of currency by the Federal Reserve, the greater and greater volatility of the stock market, and the instability of currency values only exacerbates the anxiety.
In this environment it takes courage, and an abundance mentality, to release your money in hopes of making a profit. Many more people are preoccupied with either consuming or hoarding their money, not releasing it to be fruitful or to multiply it.
This abundance mentality comes from a confidence in the faithfulness of God which moves us to embrace risk and sow our seed. There is always risk involved that you won’t reap a harvest and may lose your seed forever, but we serve a mighty God who owns everything, and is for us. As His children, we are His priority and we can trust that He will go ahead of us, working to grow our investment in ways we may or may not be aware. God is pleased when we use the resources He entrusted to us to grow and cultivate according to our gifts and abilities.
The afore mentioned faithful servant in Matthew 25 was different from the wicked servant in so far as he trusted the character of his master. When we trust the character of God, put our fear aside, and prudently sow our seed, we exercise faith.
What Do You Think?
Many entrepreneurs I know are some of the most faithful and generous people I know. If you are an entrepreneur, or the owner of your own business, thank you for your role in contributing to the redemptive work of God through your resources.
Do you agree with this assessment of entrepreneurs? Are you an entrepreneur? I would love to hear about your own experience and thoughts.