I think it was in 2017 or was it the beginning of 2018 that I realised that I need to prepare some materials on how to handle money wisely. My first problem was where in the Bible do I look for the principles to help me with that project?
I was surprised at where the Lord led me i.e. Proverbs 31. Like many women, I had the idea that this was the ideal standard that I was supposed to be aiming for and had no real chance of meeting. I mean she had a husband who boasted about her and mine had divorced me because of my imperfections. She had children who spoke highly of her whereas my daughter struggles to even say a civil word to me.
It was not until I looked past the personal achievements that I saw the financial principles she used to develop her business. You see in addition to getting all the personal stuff right she had built a business up from scratch to the point where she became a wholesaler and an international trader. I mean this woman was an economic powerhouse.
I wrote up all things I could glean from that passage and put them into a book. I hit one of my perennial challenges how do I navigate between two different worlds. For the business world, those materials were too much like church and for the church world, they were too much like business.
Is there really a war between two worlds?
It certainly feels like it at times. The problem is that those in each world had been hurt by the other’s attitudes and there were times when a war of words erupted. It gets worse though as those who have made peace with both worlds risked being called traitors. Sadly that is more common in the church world as those encouraging others to go into business to increase their income are denounced as prosperity seekers. People with a foot in both camps end up learning how to be chameleons changing their appearance to suit the camp they are in at the time.
The interesting thing is why is there a war? After all Jesus and many of his disciples were businessmen. No one seemed to be concerned that the lady with the haemorrhage had spent all her money on doctors, after all, doctors like Luke who wrote one of the gospels were in the healing business. They helped people and expected money in return so that they could pay their own bills. Paul made tents to support himself. Exchanging goods and services for money was a normal and natural part of life.
Think about it what are the consequences of war? It diverts resources from building up things for the future to destroying things in the present. War destroys people, buildings, livelihoods even nations. By being at war with business the church loses the finances it needs to do all that it could and should be doing. Business, on the other hand, has to discover the treasures found in the ancient wisdom of the Bible by trial and error including things like character and best business practises. Both the business and the church worlds are less effective by being at war with each other. It is as if there is an outside force that is trying to steal something each of them needs by string up hostilities between them.
Life in no man’s land
How on earth can anything like a book on money wisdom that promoted building a business in thrive that kind of environment? It is the hybrid that nobody wants. It is in the no man’s land between two opposing forces. This is a challenge I have been trying to overcome for a long time not just with this study on Proverbs 31.
Surely there must be someone else who felt that they were in this no man’s land. Then when Covid lead to all sheltering at home for weeks on end so many people went online that it was possible to meet up with those who were in this no man’s land. Some of them had developed strategies for surviving and thriving in no man’s land. I learnt from those strategies and came up with an idea that would make good use of the materials I had written based on Proverbs 31 and help me connect with other people who were also trying to survive in no man’s land. I was not alone after all.
I am a bit different from many of them in the sense that I am not a spring chicken. Old enough to be a grandma really. When you read my books you will see have been around the block a bit and even around a mountain to two as well. The Bible says the older women should be helping the younger ones be the best wives and mothers they can be.
The struggle I had when I was a wife and mother was being in the right headspace to be able to do all that I should have been doing. My excuse was that I had a husband who had a few challenges and who eventually divorced me because I could not cope with his shortcomings. There again I had screamed at God that I was stuck and needed to get unstuck so that I could serve Him better. I never thought divorce was a possibility so as I refused God had to organise a divorce in a different way. God hates divorce but apparently, some marriages are just so bad that He pulls them apart. I had to learn a bit about healing and recovering from unhealthy challenges but I am well and truly unstuck now and signed up to serve God and if you think I have something to offer, you as well.