In the feature film “300” King Leonidas, played by Gerald Butler, sought to defend his country’s freedom from Persia. Along the path to battle, he met Daxos, from Arcadia. Daxos had heard that the Spartan king was going to war and wished to enjoin the battle, with his troops. However, he was discouraged when he saw only 300 Spartan soldiers under king’s command.
Lenidas in turn asked three Arcadians, one by one, “What is your profession?” They answered with what would be considered noble occupations during that period: potter, sculpture, and blacksmith. It was obvious, the three conscripts would have much better served their people in their respective fields of arts and crafts.
Leonidas’ queries of the three soldiers was done only to make a point to the discouraged Daxos. He turned to his 300 men and asked the same question, “Spartans! What is your profession!?” The completely dedicated warriors, in unison, they responded, “ah-oo, ah-oo, ah-oo!”
A well satisfied Leonidas then smirked at Daxos, “See old friend, I bought more soldiers than you did.”
As I began on my quest for additional income, I realized that what the source of the income was did not really matter to me—of course, inside the parameters of it being legal and moral. But what is most critical is what I will do with these additional financial resources, once in my possession. Biblically, we are taught that managing money is more important than acquiring it. In Matthew (ch. 25:23) and Luke (ch. 16:10), we learn this principle of stewardship or management. When one does well with small amounts they are usually found trustworthy to handle larger amounts in the same way. This is not to say that it is a reward. Do keep in mind that this is a principle.
When I discuss this topic of money management with my children, I often hear them say what they will do for money when they are older. I used to encourage this behavior early on before learning this principle myself. I now have to redirect their ambitions during these conversations. I now tell them that I just want them to be happy in their jobs or careers. “Either find something you love to do or learn to love what you found!” and “The one thing the janitor has in common with the CEO is they both have to manage their pay.”
I digress. The Spartans created a culture that embedded the idea that every Spartan male was a warrior. In a sense, this is what my goal is for my family. I am endeavoring to instill the principle of effective money management. By virtue of being wage earners (via a job or career), profit takers, from self employment, or living off a trust fund, we are all money managers. And through proper money or resources management, increase and abundance are the result.
Finally, although increase and abundance are the result, they are not the goal, but a means. We can’t take it with us so we have to manage it effectively for the betterment of our family and other people.