Today I am going to cover a talk given by Calev Myers at the Unpolished Conference about things the Jewish people know about money from the Torah. He does not just stop at the Torah but also weaves in aspects of Christianity to further drive his point of these principles being enduring.
There is an underlying concept in our society that money is dirty, it is a bad thing. If you have accumulated wealth, then you must have ripped someone off or done something improper.
But this is not what the Bible says about money. It isn't what Jesus says about money.
The reality is money is a proxy for love:
- Serving is essentially the verb form of love
- Money is exchanged for service
If we take our eyes off money and look a bit deeper, we find that when we are looking for an opportunity to make money, we are looking for an opportunity to serve people.
But what really is money?
- Money is a Spiritual Thing: Because it is a spiritual thing, it is subject to spiritual laws.
- Money is Based on Faith: The value of the paper that money is printed on is negligible.
1. Gold is Good
If you do not think money is a good thing, and you are embarrassed by it, you will not make it. Making money is good.
Genesis 2:12 “The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.”
Gold is you. It is an expression of your hard work. The value you brought to humanity.
When you put gold on the poker table you are putting your heart on the poker table. If you put your gold into the offering basket, you are putting your heart into the basket, into the church.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”
2. Gold = Service
“If you have cash in your wallet… you can be sure that you have done a service for somebody, created value for somebody. Unless you stole it or cheated someone for it.”
“Money is a certificate of appreciation for your service.”
“Money is proof you met a need for someone and brought value to their life.”
“The reason God put a healthy desire to earn money is because he wants you to serve people. He wants you to think of creative ways to serve people.”
“The goal of God, by putting the healthy desire to earn money in your heart was to create community.”
“Service is an expression of love.”
“When you pray for more money you are really praying for God to give you more opportunities to add value to another's life.”
3. More Service = More Gold
“Who served more people? Bill Gates, or Mother Theresa?”
“Bill Gates made billions because he helped billions. He created solutions that have made life easier for billions of people.”
“The world says: Dig into yourself and find what you want to do.”
“I have a different idea for you, go out into your community and see what need your community has that you can reach and you can fullfill”
“When they both intersect, you will be a happy entrepreneur.”
“We feel better when we serve other people.”
At the end of the day, if you are just serving yourself you will become a very unhappy person.
“Asking what other people need is your first step to making more money”
“Whoever wants to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven will be the servent of all” – Jesus
4. More Friends = Gold
Because service is your key to becoming wealthy, the more people you can find to serve the wealthier you can become.
Constantly try to enlarge their circle of friends.
“I recently made a 6 figure investment in a startup company. Do you know why I invested in that company and not yours? Because I know the entrepreneur… because we share life with him. Because he is my friend”
People are born shy but being alone is a decision.
Jews meet together regularly and make it very clear what type of service they are providing.
Be proud of what you do and talk about it all the time.
Find joy in talking about it
Jewish names that are connected to professions.
Connect in ways that people always have in front of them that you are the entrepreneur with the great idea.
Make more friends and regularly talk about what you do
5. More Generosity = More Gold
If you don't understand that money is a spiritual thing subject to spiritual laws, this won't make much sense.
Sea of Gallilee – Brings life, fish, freshwater. Water coming in, water coming out.
Dead Sea – dead. Water coming in, no water going out.
If you only have money coming in but not going out, you will dry up and whither away.
Giving money away makes you known as a generous person.
You are going to come to a time where what you expected is more than they expected to provide. A generous person will say no problem and throw it into the deal.
Believers should be the biggest tippers in restaurants. We should be people who appreciate good service.
Giving money away allows us to focus on other people than ourselves.
6. More Education = More Gold
If you get more education, you immediately increase your wealth earning potential.
Part of the Jewish culture finds books comforting.
Israel publishes more books per capita by a large margin.
People of the book.
0 illiteracy for the past 2000 years.
“If you want to be an expert at something, do it 1000 times. But make sure you are doing it right”
Learn something in fine detail
Nothing you cannot learn if you decide to learn it.
Never too late to start.
7. Never consider retirement
Retirement doesn't exist in Hebrew.
“Concept of retirement is I have created value for long enough, now it is my time to take a break.”
If you play golf, and you swing and plan to stop when you hit the ball. It will go just a few feet. You swing through with the club. Swing through life, don't plan to stop.
“Lots of people who go into retirement go into depression”
If you have enough money, volunteer. Do something productive.
Happy, healthy, and satisfied.
I believe many people have a dysfunctional relationship with money. This is rooted in not understanding what money is, what it represents, and how it can fit in with healthy desires.
Since money acts as a proxy for service, saying you want to earn money is actually saying you want to serve more people or serve people in a deeper fashion. Then when you spend money, you are being generous to people who are serving others.
There is a lot to unpack from this presentation, and I hope it impacts you deeply.