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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women

Archive for July, 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A SUMMARY REVIEW OF TEN BUSINESS PRINCIPLES FROM THE BOOK OF PROVERBS: (Part #11 of #11)

Principle #1 : KEEP YUR BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE AND PRIORITIES ON MONEY STRAIGHT: (1) Don’t sell your soul for the pursuit of wealth. (See Matt. 16:26; I Tim. 6:9, 10) (2) If God blesses you with wealth, self-indulgence is not an option. (See Matt. 25:31-46; Lk. 16:19-3112:20,21; 1 Tim. 6:17-19; 1 Jn. 3:16-18) (3) If God grants you wealth, accept it without guilt. See Gen. 13:2; 26:12-14; 36:6, 7; Deu. 8:17, 18; Job 42:12; 1Chron. 29:28; 2 Chron.9:22; Psa. 113:7; Isa. 27:8; Matt. 27:57) (4) Choose to be content with what God allows you materially. (See Ecc.5:10; Phil. 4:11-13; I Tim. 6:6-8)

Principle #2 : CHOOSE BLAMELESS BUSINESS PRACTICES OF INTEGRITY: Definition of blameless: Being ethically strong and operating entirely in accord with the truth. (See Psa. 119:1; Gen. 6:9; Job 1:1)

Principle #3 : SEEK BIBLICALLY BASED COUNSEL IN YOUR BUSINESS PRACTICES: ( See Pro. 10:8, 14; 12:15; 15:14; 17:10)

Principle #4 : TEMPER YOUR DESIRES WITH KNOWLEDGE BEFORE ACTING : (See Pro. 14:8; 19:2; 21:5)

Principle #5 : SURRENDER YOUR PLAN TO GOD : (1) God’s plan for our lives is a mystery. (See Pro. 20:24; Isa. 55:8, 9) (2) God’s sovereign purposes will prevail over man’s plans. (See Pro. 16:9; 19:21; Jer. 10:23) (3) You will not succeed if you go against God’s plan. (See Pro. 16:3; 21:30; Jms. 4:13-17)

Principle #6 : PLAN YOUR WORK AND WORK YOUR: (1) Plan carefully. (See Pro. 6:6-8; 19:2; 21:29; Lk. 14:29-32) (2) Seek good advice. (See Pro. 1:5; 2:1-9; 9:9; 12:1; 19:20) (3) Bring God into the center of your endeavor. (See Jms. 1:5-8; 4:3)

Principle #7 : WORK HARD: (See Pro. 3:17b-19;6:6-8; 12:11, 24; 13:4, 11; 14:23; 21:5; 22:9;28:19)

Principle #8 : BALANCE WORK WITH PLEASURE: (1) Don’t sell your soul for wealth. (See Pro. 10:22; 23:4; Matt. 6:24, 26-33; 1 Tim. 6:6-10) (2) Balance your work with pleasure. (See Ecc. 3:13; 5:2, 18; 9:7, 9)

Principle #9 : HIRE QUALITY PEOPLE: (See Pro. 6:6-8; 10:26; 18:19; 20:4, 13; 21:25; 22:13; 24:30-34)

Principle #10 : GET OUT OF DEBT: (See Pro. 22:7; Psa. 37:21)

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

TEN BUSINESS PRINCIPLES FROM THE BOOK OF PROVERBS (Part 10 of 11)

PRINCIPLE #10 : GET OUT OF DEBT 1

1. Debt, when mentioned in the Scriptures is not prohibited but is presented in a negative light : Debt, the Scriptures teach, places you in a servant role to someone other than God: “ The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender” (Prov. 22:7). The lender places conditions on the loan, making you their servants rather than God’s.

2. When you borrow, you have an obligation to repay. Your failure to do so is a sin, regardless of the circumstances : “The wicked borrow and do not repayIt is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it” (Ps. 37:21a; Ecc. 5:5).

3. You should have a means of repaying a debt if you do borrow : “For instance, if you borrow to buy a car for your business, arrange the loan so that if you can’t pay for some reason, the lender can take back the car and you will be free from your debt. If you don’t do this, you’re signing surety. By signing surety, we’re presuming on the future. If everything goes as we expect, we’ll be able to pay the loans back. If things go wrong, as they often do, we may be left in debt. If Christians would observe this one caution associated with borrowing, the most they could lose is the security they had pledged against a loan. This is especially true of co-signing a loan for another person. Do not do it unless you are willing and able to pay the whole amount for the person. Proverbs 17:18 says: ‘ A man lacking in judgment strikes hands in pledge and puts up security for his neighbor.’” 2

4. Restrain from allowing long term debt : In the Old Testament, the people of God were only allowed to accrue debt for seven years. (See Deut. 15:1, 2). We would be well advised to heed this guideline.

5. Determine to fully follow God’s laws to not borrow : We should carefully take heed to the warnings in Deuteronomy 28:1,12, 43-45: “ If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none…The alien who lives among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him. He will be the head, but you will be the tail. All these curses will come upon you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the LORD your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you.”

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

1 Adapted from an article by Crown Financial Ministries 2Quoted from a Crown Financial Ministries’ paper on the debt issue

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

TEN BUSINESS PRINCIPLES FROM THE BOOK OF PROVERBS (Part 9 of 11)

PRINCIPLE #9 : HIRE QUALITY PEOPLE

Jim Collins in his landmark book, “Good To Great” instructed us to get the right people on the bus. Just today, I chatted with my son who has 40 people under his employ – and has been significantly absent from the office in recent weeks. Concerned, I asked him how he could be gone so much. “ I have quality people in the company.”

Solomon informed us: “ Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Pro. 13:20 – ESV).

Paul informed Timothy to invest in faithful and capable men who could instruct others. (2 Tim. 2:2)

Lorne Sanny 1 once stated, “I am tired of hearing about men with potential; what I’m looking for is men who are productive.”

Observe the comparison of diligent and slothful men in the Book of Proverbs :

Diligent men :       Slothful men:

Have plenty of food.       Chase fantasies.

Have their desires satisfied.    Live with unfulfilled cravings. (Pro. 12:11; 13:4)

Travel a highway in life.     Travel on a path blocked by thorns. (Pro. 15:19)

Are self-motivated, hardworking,   Are inert; love to sleep: Impoverished.

Are persevering. (Pro. 6:6-11)

Diligent men obey their superiors; respect authority; are eager to please their superiors; are not duplicitous motive-wise; give whole-hearted service; are not man-pleasers. (Eph. 6:5-7)

Slothful men are irritating to be around, destructive, fail to plan ahead, end up in poverty, even death; choose laziness over personal survival, choose sleep over work; are egotistical. (Pro. 10:26; 18:19; 20:4, 13; 21:25; 22:13; 24:30-34)

Putting confidence in an unreliable person in times of trouble is like chewing with a broken tooth or walking on a lame foot ” (Pro. 25:19 – NLT). Need we say more about careful selection of quality people?

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

1President and general director of the Navigators 1956 – 1986

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

TEN BUSINESS PRINCIPLES FROM THE BOOK OF PROVERBS (Part 8 of 11)

PRINCIPLE #8 : BALANCE WORK WITH PLEASURE

The Scriptures address the issue of balance in the work place in two ways:

1) Don’t sell your soul for wealth :

  • “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?…Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint…The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it” (Matt. 16:26; Pro. 23:4; 10:22)
  • …G odliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People 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. For 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” (I Tim. 6:6b-10).
  • “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…Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than

they?…But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:24, 26, 33).

2) Balance your work with pleasure:

  • “There was nothing better for a man to do than to enjoy his food and drink and his job” (Ecc. 2:24b –TLB). (See Ecc. 3:22)
  • “…Eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift” (Ecc. 3:13b – Msg.).
  • “…Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life” (Ecc. 5:18b)
  • “Seize life! Eat bread with gusto, Drink wine with a robust heart. Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure! Relish life with the spouse you love Each and every day of your precarious life. Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange for the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one!” (Ecc. (9:7, 9 – Msg.).

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

TEN BUSINESS PRINCIPLES FROM THE BOOK OF PROVERBS (Part 8 of 11)

PRINCIPLE #7 : WORK HARD

It all began in the garden : After sinning with Eve, God spoke to Adam about his work. In a word, he would be working in pain all his life to survive:

“…Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made for you were made from dust, and to dust you will return” (Pro. 3:17b-19 – NLT).

And we have been trying ever since to figure out short cuts to work. In stark terms Proverbs warns:

  • Fantasy chasers lack judgment – a critical virtue necessary to succeed in business. (Pro. 12:11)
  • Lazy people descend into slave labor. (Pro. 12:24)
  • Sluggards never get past craving to working, thus end up with nothing. (Pro. 13:4)
  • Sloppy planning coupled with mere talk produces poverty. (Pro. 14:23; 21:5)

By way of contrast, the diligent:

Are skilled in their work, plan ahead, work their land, plod little by little to grow their business, and end up fully satisfied, making a profit, ruling over others, and standing before kings. (Pro. 22:29; 6:6-8; 28:19; 13:11; 14:23; 13:4; 12:11; 21:5; 12:24)

As always, the choice is ours : Work hard and prosper; slack off and live in poverty.

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill