Shakespeare had a habit of making up new words or giving new meanings to old ones; so just for a few weeks let’s be Shakespearean and design a word for a Worktalk Weekly short series. The word I’m proposing is ‘Metavision’. It’s out there on the web, of course, but I want to define it by suggesting that ‘meta’ means ‘above and beyond’ as in metaphysics and vision has to do with the kind of seeing which is life enhancing as in the famous biblical statement “without vision people perish”.
So our series is going to be about a few big issues and learning to see above and beyond them to the life-giving vista that God opens up when you seek his perspective.
Why don’t we start with finance? In the end all kinds of work issues find their bottom line in the numbers; there are several which come to mind and, coincidentally, they start with the letter ‘S’.
At work you want to seek financial ‘stability’. It is crucial that the finances of any organisation are managed well and are neither wasted or over-hoarded leading to a lack of investment. Creating financial stability often means managing funds in such a way that income and expenditure work in harmony with investment and profit.
Which brings us to ‘surplus’. Every organisation, even a non-profit one, wants to create a surplus in order to keep moving forwards. Break-even is good but can create slow dynamics in relation to growth.
Then there is financial ‘security’. Somehow a business or an individual wants to create a financial structure which provides for future scenarios; whether this means personal savings or corporate assets, a strategy is always best employed if it leads to a secure base for the future.
Consider how much energy is expended in trying to fund your personal life or your employer’s business and you will be in no doubt that the financial aspect of work is central to achievement and productivity.
When a financial crisis occurs, businesses struggle and even cease to exist; individuals go bankrupt and suffering results. Metavision, when applied to finance, may take various forms: firstly, I suggest that our great challenge is to see that God himself, and not finance, is the bottom line. Stability comes from building a life on the Rock of God and his words. Financial stability is not the measure of a life, but building on the rock of the Lord most certainly is.
Seeking first the rule or Kingdom of God is the priority for all of us and the surplus will be related to God’s decisions to add whatever he wants to our resources. The implications of this thinking are that finance follows Kingdom decision making rather than determining it; furthermore it means that the focus of security is not in the size of the fund but in the focus of faith.
It is traditional to be slightly negative about finance but I am arguing that, handled in the context of Kingdom thinking, finance becomes a source of great satisfaction. It oils the wheels of commerce, can create employment opportunities, be released to further honourable aims and empower people to provide for all kinds of needs. The challenges it presents can create all kinds of fun and pleasure as well as resourcing individuals and companies in achieving great progress, making new discoveries and rolling back toxicity. It can even be stored well for difficult times.
When crises do occur, it is the house built on the rock which stands – not because the materials are stronger but because the foundations are correct. Metavision sees past the financial issues of stability, surplus and security, to the Lord who is the source of all three. This does not result in relegation of finance to irrelevance – that wouldbe naive in the extreme. What it does do is put finance in its place, in the context of the Lord who is the owner, majority share holder, fund manager, and chief finance officer. The call is to love him and serve him because the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, and you cannot serve God and money.
What you can do is see beyond finance and design ways to think and strategise financially in order to align financial protocol with Kingdom practices. For that you will need financial metavision.
Next week ‘Metavision and meaning’.
24″Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
9I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
24″No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
1 Tim 6:9-10
9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
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