“During the days of the depression, hundreds of men came to my office for a handout, or a shakedown or the night. Many a time I asked them this question: ‘When you were earning money, did you square with God? Did you give to God that which belonged to him?’ Never once did I have that question answered in the affirmative. Every man who came for a handout had to admit he had not squared with God in the years of prosperity.”
Oswald J. Smith
Trusting Christ As My Provider
I. God provides of my daily needs
A. God promises to provide as I seek his kingdom and his righteousness: Matthew 6:33.
God promises to provide sufficiency, not extravagance: I Timothy 6:6-8, Matthew 6:25-32.
God wants us to pray for our daily needs: Matthew 6:11.
II. God normally provides for me through employment.
A. Working for our living ensures that we are dependent on no one else: I Thessalonians 4:11-12, II Thessalonians 3:7-10.
B. The believer is to work as if the Lord Jesus were his personal supervisor, and to be respectful of his employer: Ephesians 6:5-8, Colossians 3:22-25 (substitute employee for slave in these passages; the relationship between employer and employee is of mutual advantage and mutual choice, though, and not permanent legal coercion).
C. The believer increases his income through diligence and skill: Proverbs 10:4. (See also Ecclesiastes 10:10, Proverbs 22:29, Deuteronomy 8:17-18)
III. God provides so that I can give to support the work of the gospel and the needs of the less fortunate.
A. Giving is to be through the local church on a weekly basis: I Corinthians 16:2 (a tithe is a good beginning).
B. Giving is to be of our own free will, in response to the grace of God: II Corinthians 8:6-11.
C. Giving demonstrates that our true treasure and Master is Christ: Matthew 6:19-21, 24.
Challenge: begin to give this week with a tithe.
Addressing Special Needs
1. Government assistance (welfare, SSI): For the believer in Christ, there have been some problems with the acceptance of government financial support without being employed by the government. It has encouraged laziness among the able bodied; it has encouraged dependence on the government instead of God; it dissociates income from work; it discourages marriage and stable families; and it supplants the financial support ministry of the body of Christ. Therefore the able bodied unemployed and the employable disabled need counsel and encouragement to become employed wherever possible for their own support, witness and obedience to God. Care should be taken not to abuse those in genuine need or to expect an immediate transition out of a state of dependence.
2. Restitution: Whenever a person has stolen or defrauded from an individual, a business or the government should receive restitution as a matter of honesty and as evidence of genuine repentance (Proverbs 6:31, the example of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10). Usually this can be taken from luxury and entertainment spending for a short period. A person who has been living a parasitic and exploitative lifestyle (stealing in the Biblical sense includes fraud and deceit for financial gain: Leviticus 19:12 is an expansion of Exodus 20:15) needs to be directed to work and giving (Ephesians 4:28, I Thessalonians 4:11-12).
3. Debt: Buying on credit can produce debt which is an unwise use of money; the interest on the credit increases the cost of the purchase and leave the borrower in financial bondage (Proverbs 22:7). Generally, excessive debt results from extravagant, unnecessary and premature purchases. The new believer should be referred to a Christian financial counselor — preferably one who is a volunteer.
4. Homemakers: Stay at home mothers with preschool children already have a full time job on their hands. It is financial wisdom for a husband to seek to improve his income so that they can survive on one income during the years of childbearing and during the years the children are preschool. During the school age years of the children, starting a home based business might be wiser than returning to work for an employer. There is good scriptural precedence for this in Proverbs 31:24, and it would be in accord with Titus 2:5. Generally a homemaker with Christ as her Lord and Supervisor will plan her day so that there are no significant times of idleness during the day, and so that she may use the evening for relaxation, entertainment and family devotions. She can also plan for significant times of personal ministry during these hours, and certainly time for her personal Bible reading and prayer.
5. Prosperity theology (the ‘health and wealth’ gospel: Believers who are still new to Christ can be deceived by this unbalanced application of the scriptures. Christ promises sufficiency, not material riches. Scriptures such as I Timothy 6:9-10, Luke 6:24, 12:13-21, and 18:23-25 should adequately address this teaching that substitutes wealth for sufficiency. Contentment with what we have from God is his will for us (Hebrews 13:5-6, Philippians 4:11-13, Exodus 20:17).
6. The stockholder mentality of giving to a church: Some have had an unfortunate tendency to use their giving, which is to be to God, to attempt to influence the direction of the church according to personal preference. In the New Testament, the funds that were given to the church were put at the disposal of the leaders whom God had called and appointed for the uses that they announced and decided (Acts 4:35-37: “at the apostles’ feet” means “at the disposal of the apostles”). This is less of a temptation for those who are unable to give large amounts, but the general principle is that we give to support God’s work in God’s way, and not our personal preferences.
- Crown Financial Ministries: http://www.crown.org/
- Dave Ramsey: http://www.daveramsey.com/
- Master Your Money: http://www.mastermoney.org/
- Debt Proof Living: http://www.cheapskatemonthly.com/default.asp
- Sound Mind Investing: http://www.sminow.com/
Christian Jobs (formerly Intercristo): http://www.christianjobs.com/
- Vault.com (Corporate research): http://www.vault.com/index.jsp
- Five O’Clock Club: http://www.fiveoclockclub.com/
- Wall Street Journal / Career Journal: http://online.wsj.com/public/page/news-career-jobs.html
- Marty Nemko (often featured in the Mensa monthly magazine): http://www.martynemko.com/
The Riley Guide to Online Job Hunting Sites: http://www.rileyguide.com/jobs.html
- Martin Yate (take the advice, not the services): http://www.knockemdead.com/
Interview Preparation Worksheet and Notes (Copy this into Microsoft Word, and use it to prepare for an interview and take notes during an interview)
Day and Date:
- City, State Zip
- Leadership and influence beyond the job description
- Catching major problems early
Management or Work Style:
- Creative/ innovative, intuitive
- Analytic, pragmatic about solutions
- Goal and results oriented
- Technically curious
Things You Need to Know About Me:
- Need fairly stable work schedule.
- Best results in positive, ethical, collaborative environment
- Need the technical tools to get the desired results
- Need management insulation from corporate politics at times
Reason I Left Last Job:
- Seeking position and organization more in line with career goals, work style, skill set
Answers to Difficult Questions:
- Learn, apply and share knowledge
- Excellent written/oral communication
- Focus on business objectives and results
- Able to troubleshoot, identify causes of serious problems
Things I Can Do For You:
- Make the whole team stronger
- Focus on business objectives, results, quality
- Work beyond the job description
- Provide process, discipline and best practices
Questions to Ask Interviewer:
- Duties and expected hours of the position
- Written job description
- Reporting structure, department
- Turnover, stability
- Internal politics of organization
- Type of work environment
- What computer software are already provided
- What kinds of training and development are available
- What is the advancement potential
- How do you encourage a fair and positive environment?
- How do you encourage initiative?
- How would you describe your communication style?
- How do you deal with constructive criticism (of both yourself and fellow employees)?
- How do you deal with negative criticism (of both yourself and fellow employees)?
- How do you deliver performance feedback?
- What would you say are good reasons to be a leader?
- What would you say are wrong reasons to be a leader?
- How do you deal with a consistently troublesome person on the job?
- Give an example, without names. What was troublesome about that person?
- How do you adjust your communication style to the person you are dealing with?
- What effect do your personal feelings about a person have on your treatment of that person (ask for examples)?
Here are a series of questions that I developed some years ago to gauge a person’s compatibility with a prospective manager during an interview. I never use all of them, but pick and choose as it appropriate. Several years ago one of my friends was impressed enough to have published these in the Mensa newsletter for Belgium.
Suggested Questions for a Prospective Hiring Manager
- What access is there to be able to discuss risks, issues and what is going well?
- What level of initiative is expected?
- What sort of information is important for you to have in reports and one on ones?
- How have you recently approached a situation where a direct report came to you with a problem or serious project issue?
- How do you prefer to hear about problems or issues?
- How do you prefer to hear about opportunities for improvements?
- How do you prefer to hear about ideas and possible innovations?
- Do you see value in allowing personal research and development time for developers?
- How do you seek to understand and lead those who are different than you personally and technically?
- How have you defined the boundaries of the positions of your direct reports in the past?
- What problems are you hoping to solve with filling this open position?
- What does a successful solution look like to you?
- How will your circle of managerial responsibility be different after you fill this position than it is now?
- What new initiatives, opportunities and challenges do you see for your area of managerial responsibility in the next month? In the next six months? In the next year? In the next two years?
- What security access levels are necessary for the position?
- What meetings, procedures or status reports are necessary?
- What computer resources are provided, and what is the procedure for getting any which may be found later to be necessary or useful?
- Who are good internal contacts to learn the environment and to learn how to get things accomplished in this environment?
- What departmental system documentation and documentation of policies and procedures is available? How up to date is it?
- Why are you in management? What has brought to seek, accept and remain in a management position?
- How has your personal background prepared you to be in management?
- What are you doing to improve your personal performance as a manager?
- What would you say are right reasons to be in management? Wrong reasons?
- What allowance do you make for differences of personal style in working among your subordinates?
- How do you deal with situations where someone brings up criticisms of a coworker to you?
- How do you deal with those who report to you whom you may not feel very comfortable, even dislike on some level?
- How do you deliver feedback on performance to your direct reports?
- How do you deal with feedback on your own personal performance as a manager from your subordinates?
- How would you define a consistently troublesome subordinate?
- How do you deal with a consistently troublesome subordinate?
- How do you make sure that your direct reports have the skills to meet the challenges that face them?
- How do you deal with a subordinate that wants to move on to a better position?
- How would you deal with a subordinate that seems to be seeking to escape your management style?
- How would you deal with a subordinate who is cooperative with you but very critical and competitive with his or her peers, even to the point of seeking to sabotage their work?
- What has been the turnover among your direct reports since you became their manager?
- What is your definition of hard work and expected effort?