Like many reading this blog, for many years I thought my only opportunity for income was a paycheck that I was receiving for my labor. When I discovered capital as a source of income it caused me to make some changes in our finances. I had to save and look for opportunity to invest to produce income. Actually God mentored me a little like he did the children of Israel, but more about that later.
To teach the Hebrews about capital, God put each and every Jewish family in charge of some land and they had to cultivate it and take care of it. In Harold Eberle’s book Compassionate Capitalism: A Judeo-Christian Value; he describes how it changes your thinking when you have something like capital that you have to take care of:
Compare this to two children being raised in two different modern families. One child is put in charge of the family pet. This child is taught to feed and water the animal, along with all the other responsibilities of taking care of a family pet. As the child develops they will become ever conscious of the needs of the family pet. On the other hand the child that is never put in charge of anything outside of himself will only be conscious of his own needs.
Taking care of the family pet taught the child to constantly think a certain way. In a similar way, becoming aware of how capital can produce income creates a desire to accumulate and manage capital…just like it did for the children of Israel. Harold Eberle says it like this:
“…the person who owns a farm can plant crops or hire laborers to plant crops that can be sold. Or the land could be rented to someone who will do likewise producing income for the farm owner. Someone who has accumulated money can loan out that money at interest. The idea that capital is productive changes the orientation of one’s life toward the goal of accumulating capital and making it productive.
The poor generally do not appreciate the value of capital and are not bothered to accumulate it. They might even see it as selfish or evil. On the other hand, more prosperous people feel like something is wrong if they do not have capital. I believe the Christian today should look for capital to produce income that is separate from any paycheck income they might receive. This is in keeping with how the Lord mentored the ancient Hebrews.