Lessons Learned: Living a Life “Well Spent”
(Mt 6:24, Lk 16:13)
Christ-centered business leaders view money with an eternal perspective. They see a significant difference between prosperity—the accumulation of material goods on this earth, and posterity—the ability to leave a God-honoring legacy. The reality that materialistic things don’t fully satisfy us becomes clear as we grow in our faith and appreciation of God’s eternal truth. Unfortunately for many, worldly success, opulence, comfort, and security define their legacy.
Modern Day Example
Malcom Forbes was an American entrepreneur most prominently known as the publisher of Forbes magazine, founded by his father. He inherited the magazine and lived a luxurious lifestyle with millions of dollars at his disposal. Forbes was the “poster child” for the postmodern aim of seeking one’s own happiness — rich, famous, self-important, and entertained. He denied himself little that money could buy, collecting fine art, prestigious real estate, yachts, rare cars, motorcycles, jets, helicopters, and custom hot air balloons. Forbes owned eight homes in exotic locales such as Tangiers, Normandy, and Fiji, and cavorted with the famous and influential people of his day, especially in the arenas of politics and finance. Imagine if Forbes uttered the Apostle Paul’s quote – “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God.”
In 1989, Forbes threw himself a 70th birthday party at a cost of $2.5 million. He chartered a Boeing 747, a DC-9, and a Concorde to bring 800 of his closest friends to Tangiers. Forbes died just a few months later. His ashes were buried in Fiji under a marker that bears the epitaph, “WHILE ALIVE, HE LIVED.” What benefit did one of the most opulent birthday parties of all time produce for him?
The problem with living out the Epicurean philosophy is that it is existential, meaning that now is all there is. It makes no allowance for life, purpose, or accountability beyond what’s seen in the here and now. To experience the real beauty of this world, can we trade some of our God-given time and money?
Forbes’ story holds convicting elements for each of us. We all sin and fall short of God’s standards by making self-indulgent decisions. However, we’re forever blessed to have a Savior who sacrificed Himself for us, that we might be seen as spotless children of God. By shifting our focus from attaining success to pursuing significance, we discover a new way of thinking about money, about our life’s work, and about how to get a greater return on our investments of time, energy, and money.
Are You on Course?
The C12 Group helps individuals build companies that are successful, not only in the world’s terms of greatness, but in ways that model and demonstrate the character of God at the same time. C12 provides a forum for Christian business leaders and CEOs to support each other while exploring best business practices for effectively running a company. Does this sound interesting?