One of my greatest challenges in college after I came to know the Lord was figuring out where God was in what I was learning. As an economics major this proved to be difficult initially. However, after awhile, I realized that many of the theories that we studied were meant to assume how people would respond, with their money, to various changes. We also spent a lot of time considering tastes, preferences and values of individuals and society as a whole. This realization allowed make a connection… the fall of humanity influences our tastes, preferences and values as well as the way we view money and how we use it.
The other day while reading through 2 Chronicles I found an example of “sunk costs” . Sunk costs are essentially money already spent that cannot be recovered. The thought is that sunk costs should not effect future decisions. A common example of sunk costs is the purchasing of a movie ticket. After sitting through 30 minutes of the movie you decide that you don’t like it and begin to debate whether or not to walk out. According to the principle of sunk costs you should not take into consideration the price that you paid for the ticket but rather whether or not your time would be better spent doing something else for the duration of the movie. This concept is difficult for me at times because it can feel as though I am being a bad steward if I don’t “get my moneys worth”.
The example of sunk costs that I found is in 2 Chronicles 25:5-13. Amaziah, the king of Judah at the time, is assembling the amy to fight against the men of Seir and in addition to his own men he hires 100,00 men from Israel to fight with him for 100 talents of silver. He is then told by a man of God not to take these men into battle with him because the Lord is not with Israel. Amaziah’s response to the man of God is “what about the 100 talents of silver?” to which the man of God responds “The LORD is able to give you much more than this.” Amaziah proceeds to dismiss the men of Israel and the Lord grants him victory in the battle.
Although we are all charged with being good stewards of the money given to us I believe that what is most important is recognizing that stewardship of money itself is not the ultimate measure of success or failure, obedience to God is. It was encouraging to me that even while making a mistake in where he, Amaziah, invested his money he was afforded the opportunity to “make it right” so to speak by recognizing his error and subsequently making correct choices. Also encouraging was the reminder that God is not subject to money… he created it. He is able to accomplish his purposes through whatever means he deems necessary.
What do you think? How did you/are you finding God in your subjects of study or work.