Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Moneywise 7: Why we are all stewards Of God’s money

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Advertising Guru, Bidoun Shobanjo & Pastor Kola Oyeyemi of MTN Nigeria

Therefore, if you have not proved yourselves faithful in connection with the unrighteous riches, who will entrust you with what is true? And if you have not proved yourselves faithful in connection with what is another‘s, who will give you what is for yourselves? -Luke 16: 11·12

It was a cool Saturday morning, exactly a week to my next appointment with my Mentor. I was in my study meditating on the wisdom nuggets that he gave me during my last meeting with him on how to get a business coach in the area I desired to excel. Specifically, I was reflecting on his advice that I needed to attach myself to a spiritual mentor. I had mentally identified Sam Adeyemi, the Senior Pastor at Daystar Christian Centre, Lagos, Nigeria. Just as my mentor had advised, I formally approached Pastor Adeyemi to be my spiritual mentor and, he graciously agreed. We have been having good times together ever since and he has not held back anything from me.
Pastor Sam Adeyemi
Frankly speaking, my Financial Mentor has been incredibly good to me. I just sat there wondering about how undeserving I was of his incredible acts of magnanimity. I can’t recollect having done anything extraordinary for him to warrant his kindness. He has done what I couldn’t imagine: Every month, he spares his valuable time to teach me great lessons on business success and wealth acquisition. He has connected me with many of his valuable contacts. Through his monthly lectures, I have avoided many mistakes I would have made had I not come in contact with him. It is impossible to quantify his input into my life.
An act appreciated draws in another. I resolved to commission an artist to design a hand-made greeting card for him as a token of appreciation since I could not think of anything to buy for him. I embossed his photograph and mine in the giant-size card, accommodating words that best captured my appreciation. I sent the card to him the following Monday. He called me the same day to express his appreciation and to inform me that our next appointment would be on Sunday.
Robert Kiyosaki

I got to his house on Sunday at about 1.00 p.m. as agreed. He had left an instruction that I should meet him in his Wisdom Room. The setting in the Wisdom Room and my Mentor’s dressing surprised me. The room was arranged to look like a church environment with about ten chairs and a wooden structure that looked like a pulpit. My Mentor was dressed in full spiritual regalia. I was wondering what was going on. A few moments later, his daughter, a chartered accountant based in the United Kingdom, strolled in with an elderly man whom, I later learnt, was one of his many millionaire friends.

“God is a master investment strategist. Your professional money management skills can fail you. You may take wrong investment decisions, but with God guiding you, you can never go wrong”.

My Mentor stood up and went straight to the wooden structure with two fairly big diaries in his hand.
There is nothing you have that God did not arrange for you. “Good afternoon everybody. I will start today’s lesson in a short while, but let me find out from my friend how he handled the instruction I gave to him”.  About two lessons ago, when he looked at my personal financial statement, he pointed out my follies in classifying some items as assets. I had listed four cars as part of my assets - one official car, one car for my wife and two other spare cars. After studying the statement, he simply gave me a copy of Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad and asked me to digest it and brief him on my decisions. After finishing the book, I felt stupid that I had prepared such a financial statement. A quick decision I took was to drive one of the cars, a Mercedes Benz I really cherished, straight to my church and sow it as a seed. I sold the second one and put the proceeds into shares. I almost took some other radical decisions, but I had to hesitate so that I could hear my Mentor’s comments.
“That’s good, that’s good that’s good” my Mentor said repeatedly after I explained what I had done. “But let me ask you a question: why did you give your car to your church?”

My reply: “I consider it vanity to keep a car at home doing nothing and gulping my money without earning any money for me. I was convinced that by giving it to God, I would get it back manifold. I was sure God would direct somebody someday to give back to me maybe two new cars for the one that I sowed”.  

“You have taken a correct a step”.  He said, as he quickly flipped through his diaries, possibly to note some points, “but you have also missed some points. And that is why I want you to pay attention to what I am going to say, because it is the foundation for everything I am ever going to share with you. If you grasp the lesson, you will have laid the foundation for your wealth acquisition drive on a rock where no storm can destroy it”. 

“First of all, let me say that God wants all his children to prosper. He wants us to be wealthy. Many Christians have incorrectly interpreted God’s purpose for money. I have heard many Christians say the love of money is the root of all evil. Nothing can be farther from the truth. God never said that and He couldn’t have said that. God is only warning us not to allow money to be a god to us. He doesn’t want us to go after acquiring money for the sake of it”.

The purpose of accumulating wealth is more important than the wealth. “Read the Bible and digest the reason God said he would bless Abraham. God wants to bless for only one reason so that we can all be blessings to others. God wants us to glorify Him with our possessions. If we have money and the people around us, our church, our community and our country cannot feel the impact of our money, then, we are not using our wealth to glorify God. We are all stewards of God’s money. We didn’t come to this world with any material possession and surely we are not going to leave with anything”.

“God is the source of good wealth and He is always looking for people He can trust to distribute his wealth. I feel very sad any time I see how Nigerians rush to accumulate wealth solely for the purpose of intimidating and oppressing others. That is an ungodly wealth-acquisition mentality. We don’t own anything. All gold belongs to God and when God sees that you use your money persistently for the wrong reasons, he will organize a way of escape for the money. Remember I told you that money is a spiritual thing; it has wings and can fly away from you”.

“Look around you, don’t you see individuals who were stupendously rich some years ago, but can hardly make ends meet today? You can acquire billions of Dollars if you like. But if you don’t use the wealth correctly, everything will vanish. A single sickness can clear all your life savings in a few weeks”.

Wealth shared expands speedily. “When you wake up every morning, always ask yourself one question: ‘In what way can I glorify God with my gold today?’ Which human being can I assist with God’s blessing in my life? That is the only relevant question actually. True wealth really is measured by the number of individuals who can trace their successes to you. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Christian or a Muslim by religion”

“As you step up your journey towards wealth acquisition, trust absolutely in God, put your finances at His disposal, you will never go wrong and He will not allow you to take stupid decisions. God does not deal with what we say we are going to do with our money. He takes interest in what we actually do with it and He will surely bless or curse our efforts according to what we do with our wealth”.

“I did exactly what you did some years back: I gave all my three cars to God and 1 was left with nothing. But in my own case, I never expected God to give me back cars or drop material things for me from heaven. God doesn’t give money back for the money you sowed in His kingdom. When you bless God with your material possessions, in return, He gives you divine ideas. One divine idea correctly pursued and executed can give you a life-time stream of income. It can cause blessings to flow in your direction permanently”.

God sees what we cannot see. “Let me also share this with you: God is a master investment strategist. Your professional money management skills can fail you. You may take wrong investment decisions, but with God guiding you, you can never go wrong”.

“I am fascinated by the encounter of Jesus with Peter in the Bible. Peter was a skilled fisherman. He had used all the tricks he knew to net a big catch but all amounted to naught. But, then, the situation changed. The master simply told him where the gold was and by obeying His instructions, he got more than he could imagine”.

“Enough for today” my Mentor said and stopped abruptly. Moving in measured steps to my seat, he gently tapped me and said: “You are in the right direction, don’t falter and God will always bless your efforts”.  I was moved by the sobering sermon. I thanked him and bade him goodbye, still reflecting on the import of his message.
(Excerpts from the book: “THE MILLIONAIRES CAPSULES” by AYO AROWOLO. Read “Don’t be afraid of Baby steps” tomorrow on this blog)
Ayo Arowolo, Publisher The Millionaires' Capsules

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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