Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our former Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
This series of posts explores the topic “knowing God” – what it is, what it is not, why it is important, how it is possible and why it is relevant to marketplace leaders in the twenty-first century.
THE NEED FOR FINANCIAL PROVISION
“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” ~King Solomon (Ecclesiastes 5:10)
“Even the securest financial plan and the finest health coverage aren’t enough to hold us steady when the challenges come…We need something more, something deeper and unshakeable, something that will see us through life’s hard times.” ~Billy Graham
During my formative years, I “imbibed” a fear of financial lack. It was not because my parents didn’t provide well for me and my siblings. Indeed, my father was a very successful lawyer and we grew up in a beautiful home in a tony area of Vancouver.
My father’s success as a lawyer notwithstanding, my mother was always concerned about his predisposition to invest money or guarantee loans in high risk, early stage mining ventures. As a result of this tendency, she treated nickels like manhole covers when it came to spending on basics like clothing! Undoubtedly, she was also influenced by having lived through the Great Depression.
Mary and I left Vancouver in 1969 so I could pursue an MBA at Ivey Business School in London, Ontario and, in 1973, we bought our first house in Toronto. The price was about 3% of the current market value of the same property! We had not yet managed to save much money. As a result, I asked Dad for a $5,000 loan to bridge the gap between the purchase price and the sum of the first mortgage and note to be taken back by the vendor.
While he wanted to help, Dad was not in a financial position to do so at that time. As it happens, the bank seemed to think I was a good risk so they lent me $5,000. Thus, our first house purchase was 100% debt financed! This incident reinforced my attitude toward money and I vowed to never again be reliant on others. All money-related decisions were based on the assumption that there was no other source to which I could turn in the event my resources were insufficient to meet our family’s needs.
When I became a follower of Jesus, I can’t say the fear of lack evaporated instantaneously. Prior to that time, I had never read God’s many promises in the Bible regarding finances. My thinking was still shaped by years of accumulated habits regarding money and its preservation.
However, as I read the Bible and began to trust God’s promises concerning financial provision, my need for self-sufficiency began to fade. For example, in his letter to the church in Philippi, Paul the Apostle says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” In fact, the Bible makes the bold assertion that as we put God first in our life, He will take care of all our needs.
Over the many years since we entrusted our lives to Jesus, Mary and I have encountered financial difficulties that have strongly tested this trust. In every case, God’s promise of provision has proved true! Moreover, His faithfulness has liberated us from stinginess caused by fear of lack and one of our greatest joys is being a conduit of God’s financial blessing to the needy.
To whom do you turn for provision?
Next week, I will explore the need to trust.
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.