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Late last year, while researching for an article, I discovered the Global Rich List calculator. At the time, it reported that a U.S. worker making the federally mandated minimum wage ($7.25/hour) earns more salary than 92.2% of workers in the rest of the world. The statistics do not lie: American Christians are rich.

That’s a good thing, right? Well, as with so many things in this world, that depends on your perspective. From a heavenly perspective, we all have reason to be concerned.

Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:23-27

Jesus’ warning raises two important questions: Why is it so hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God? How do we mitigate the risk?

The first question is not hard to answer; the Bible has much to say on the subject. The answer to the second question is not so obvious (at least, for most of us). Here are nine reasons it is so hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God:

  1. The rich tend to trust in their riches (v. 24).
  2. Riches are deceitful, choking the word of God from our lives, resulting in unfruitfulness (Matthew 13:22).
  3. The unfruitful are cut off from Jesus Christ and thrown into the fire (John 15:2,6).
  4. The rich are tempted to bury their riches, instead of investing them into the kingdom of God (Matthew 25:24-27,30).
  5. The poor have been chosen to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom (James 2:5).
  6. Our heart is tied to our treasure (Matthew 6:21).
  7. To whom much is given, much will be required – including our riches (Luke 12:48).
  8. The world’s goods are given to meet the needs of others (1John 3:16-18). The rich are responsible to know how much to give away.
  9. The rich are most at risk of two powerful and destructive deceptions: they do not need God (Revelation 3:17), and/or God needs them (Acts 17:25).

Read the rest of this entry »

Business Man with TabletAssessing risk and return is an unavoidable practice in the workplace; indeed, in every part of life. From corporate executives to fathers and mothers, it is hard to imagine any leader making any decision without first determining the potential consequences.

Almost every decision has some measure of risk and return. The objective is to minimize the former, and maximize the latter. As with most things, some are better at this than others. These tend to be the most successful in their field.

Risk management has become an industry unto itself – primarily aimed at the business and government sectors. However, people take risks everyday in every area of life; and it would be helpful for every leader, in every sphere, to regularly consider the risks of their decisions on their spheres of influence.

In one way or another, we will be held accountable for the risk we introduce into the lives of others.

The Workplace Leader, who is also a follower of Jesus Christ, has an advantage in this area – if they are willing to pursue it. That advantage is the word and wisdom of God. Read the rest of this entry »

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