This may surprise you, but did you know the Bible talks about wealth creation? It actually talks a lot about money and wealth creation. In fact, some of the main characters in the Bible were wealthy, fabulously wealthy; David, Abraham, Solomon, Job, to name a few. The Bible, in fact, does not condemn wealth. It gives keys of how to create wealth, many, many keys, that are now being proven out as the main principles behind wealth creation.
We’re going to take a little tour through the Bible and figure out what it says about wealth creation. The Bible is amazing. It’s the oldest of the ancient texts, written between 3,500 and 2,000 years ago. This is really, really old. Some 40 authors, over a 1500-year span, has some 8,000 predictions in it. One author showed 3268 predictions have already been fulfilled in the Bible. It predates nearly all the other ancient texts, the Celtic, the Hindu, the Buddhist. All except a few of the earliest Egyptian and Sumerian, Mesopotamian texts are older.
While those old ancient texts are just fragments and just a story, like a chapter’s worth at most, the Bible is 1189 full chapters. It’s not just one little story that was carved in a stone; it’s a massive set of stories that contains history, poetry, wisdom, prophecy. It’s still being mined by scholars and by students for it secrets. An absolutely amazing book, as far as the ancient texts go. It really is completely different than the other ancient texts that people study for wisdom.
The Bible has given even many science facts that only in the last few hundreds of years were proven to be true. There are scriptures that described the earth being a sphere and that floated that in free space. They talked about the oceans having springs and mountains before anyone understood any of these things. It’s an amazing resource with amazing secrets.
Now as I said, the Bible has many, many, many secrets about wealth creation. What are the keys to creating wealth? We’re going to look at some of these. In fact some of the wealthiest, most successful individuals in history attributed the Bible and the Bible secrets as their means to success, including John D. Rockefeller. He made more money than any man in history. It’s estimated that he has 90% monopoly over the oil industry back in the early days; Mutual Fund pioneer, John Templeton; Coca-Cola founder, Aca Candler. Many, many greats, thousands of people have attributed the Bible to their success.
Me, I’m Bob Fraser and I’ve been a serial entrepreneur. I’ve started many businesses. In the late 90s, I started an internet company. We ended up raising $44 million in venture capital and becoming the fastest growing businesses, one of the fastest growing businesses in the United States. In the year 2000, I won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. I love business. I love people making money. I love people succeeding and winning.
I am an avid student of the Bible, and we’re going to take a look at what the Bible says about wealth creation in these few sessions. Ready to dive in? Here we go! We’re going to look at a few of these principles and first off, here’s the first secret the Bible says about wealth creation. Here’s the verse, Proverbs 10:4. Proverbs was written about 1,000 BC, so 3,000 years ago. It says this: “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”
It says anyone who works hard is going to prosper. They’re going to do well. Again, profound? Yes. He’s saying the key to prosperity, the key to wealth creation, the first key is diligence. I just want to give you an example of just the value of steadiness. Let’s say you start your business with $10,000 and you can earn $2,000 a year on that $10,000. You can make a 20% return on your money. At the end of the first year, you’ve worked really hard; you’ve made $2,000. That’s not that much it seems, but in ten years, your business is worth $50,000 if you can continue to produce that kind of money. Here’s the magic: in 50 years, a 20% return on that original $10,000 is worth $75 million. It’s just the value of being steady.
One of the most powerful forces in nature is erosion. Erosion’s most powerful quality is not brute force. It’s not that it’s strong, but it’s diligent. It’s the same pressure coming over and over and over. Look at this picture here. This is an island in Fiji. They call them the Mushroom Islands. No, it is not a fossilized mushroom. It is a little mountain stuck up out of the water, and it’s thin at the bottom because the water, the gentle lapping over thousands and thousands of years is enough to wear out the entire underneath of that little island. The value of just being steady, just being diligent, that’s what the Bible says; it’s one of the first secrets of wealth creation.
Here’s another verse, Proverbs 20:4, which again was written 1,000 BC. “I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; and there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction; a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest. So shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.” It’s saying laziness becomes poverty. Again, we see this in reality, in our culture.
Here’s another verse that relates to this, Proverbs 12:24. “The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor.” The Bible says the diligence, this wealth creation secret, actually causes you to become a leader. If you’re hardworking and diligent, you become a leader and you start to take the lead and will become a leader of others, whereas if you’re lazy, you’ll become a forced laborer. You’ll basically be forced into labor. This is absolutely true today. Lazy men will be put to forced labor. He’s not talking about just slavery but those that don’t work, don’t have money will be forced to work, to try and make ends meet, and they’ll be under someone else’s leadership.
Here’s another verse, Proverbs 12:11, I love this one. It says, “He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.” We have action versus fantasy. The Bible favors action versus fantasy. Have you ever met that guy that talks the big game — “All hat and no cattle.” You’ve got the big cattle man’s hat but you got no cattle. They talk a big game, they fantasize, but there’s no action. The Bible says one of the secrets of wealth creation is to not be a dreamer but to be action-oriented.
My last scripture for this part –Jesus, wisest man who ever lived, gave a story about wealth. He actually talked quite a bit about wealth and wealth creation, but let’s look at this story. It’s called “Parable of the Talents.” He said, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man traveling to a far country who called his servants and delivery his goods to them.” This is a businessman, “And to one he gave five talents of gold,” it’s a measure of gold, “to another two and to another one, each according to his ability; and immediately he went on a journey.”
The man who’d received the five talents was diligent and faithful and he made another five. Likewise, he who had received two, gained two more also. He who received one, dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time, the master of those servants came back and he settled accounts. The one who had received five talents came in and brought five other talents saying, “Lord, master, look what I’ve done. I’ve gained five more.” The master said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” So this is a faithful, diligent, hardworking servant. “You were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many. Enter into the joy of your master.”
He has received two talents. “Lord, you delivered to me two and I’ve gained two more and here they are.” He says, “Well done!” Then the one who had received one talent says, “Lord, I knew you were a hard man, reaping what you have not sown and gathering where you had not scattered seed, I was afraid and I went and hit your talent in the ground. Here’s your one talent back.” The Lord answered and said, “You wicked and lazy servant. You knew I reap where I had not sown and gathered where I did not scatter seed.” He said, “So you should have deposited my money with the bankers and at least with my coming I would have received back my own with interesting.” He said, “Take it from him and give it to the one who has ten.”
For every one who has, more will be given. This is Jesus, again, the wisest man who’s ever lived, telling us, and giving a detailed story about money and about wealth creation and saying that the key to increase is faithfulness and diligence. In this story, what they started with was a gift. It was given to them, and it was given to them according to their abilities, which is, again, a gift. What you start with is simply what’s given to you through your gifts and your talents. The key to increase, He said, “To everyone who is faithful more will be given.” Really, it doesn’t really matter what you start with; it matters that you’re faithful with what you have and then when you’re faithful with that, more is given. The key to increase is faithfulness with what you have.
I go throughout the world and I talk about entrepreneurism and other topics, and people say, “Well if I just had this and I just had that, I could make something happen.” I believe that it doesn’t really matter what you start with. Play the cards you’ve been dealt. Be faithful with the cards you’ve been dealt and then more will be granted.