I attended the Premier thought leaders conference last August 24, 2013. It was a conference with 6 speakers about entrepreneurship, stewardship, finance management, and stock market investment. It was a very interesting talk especially since I’m in another, totally different industry. Here are my thoughts on what I’ve learned.
First speaker was my mentor and personal hero – pastor Dennis Sy. He gave me a complimentary ticket (That’s grace!). Anyhow, he talked about stewardship – how to handle your money well and how to give back to God and bless others with it. Mastering your money instead of it mastering you. This was a very, very refreshing talk. Because I’ve somewhat forgotten it.
Here’s the context behind it: I have a life quote that I bring with me whenever I would give away money to those in need: “If you’re not giving til it hurts, you’re not giving enough.” And it’s something that I lived out. I’m getting married in 5 short months. It’s a very exciting time of my life. It’s also a very nervous one. The reason behind it is, me and my fiancee, Apple, went ahead to decide to get married by faith.
Meaning: We don’t really have the means to do so – yet. I don’t have the money to provide for the wedding we wanted. But we prayed and went ahead anyway. We were getting advise left and right that it was really a matter of faith and we should go ahead and God will provide.
It was all well and good until today – when our wedding day is getting near and I’m still nowhere my target amount. (For our wedding suppliers who are reading this, don’t worry. God will provide.)
It’s easier said than lived. Getting married by faith can be nerve-wracking and anxious. Which is what I am until that talk. Pastor Dennis (or ahia Dennis as I call him) reminded me about giving away. He calls it ‘sowing‘. It’s something that I used to look for.
When I was starting out in business, I wanted opportunities to give money away. I looked for it. And God gave me people who had a cause wherein I could give away money. Some of them asked for small amounts, some big. But I distinctly remember this one time where a client failed to pay me up for 7 months. It was an amount worth one month’s pay (around $1,100). I considered it a bad debt. But God had other plans for it.
I told God jokingly “Lord, if that client would pay TODAY, I would give it away to an orphanage.” A few hours later my phone rang.
“Sean, we realized we haven’t paid you up. My boss noticed. He’s depositing the money now to your account.” It was the company’s marketing manager.
I was left in shock.
Right there and then, I realized that it wasn’t my money (since I considered it a bad debt already.) It was God’s. I didn’t waste any moment to ring up my friend who put up the orphanage to tell him that I’m donating the full amount to his orphanage.
That was almost 3 years ago.
Today, SEO Hacker has a team of 17 people. We have clients that I would never have dreamed of getting. We have our own product to sell online. God is faithful.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38
This is an AWESOME verse! And it is a verse with a promise. And that promise has been fulfilled in my life. All glory to God!
Looking back, I never lacked anything. I never went back to having Skyflakes for lunch and dinner. God is my provider.
This is not to say that I’m not giving now. I’m providing for missionaries on a monthly basis. And if there are other missionaries who would approach me, I keep an open heart and mind and pray for whatever God wants me to give.
In any case, when ahia Dennis told me to ‘sow’ that’s what I’m about to do. And it’s because I want God to be the master of my money. Not myself. It’s so easy to be trapped into the mindset of consumerism.
Give to God – because He’s your provider. You can’t outgive Him and you can’t give without Him. It’s all a matter of faith.
That’s what I’ll be doing until my wedding day.