The prospective client asked, “How much do you charge?”
I could answer this; I’d practiced and prayed about it. Though my heart beat wildly and my hands felt clammy, I opened my mouth to give a confident response. Suddenly, I blurted out a number so low it surprised even me—in an apologetic tone, no less!
I was pursuing a profession I believe God had planned for me, but this same scenario continued to play out during my first years in business as I found myself grappling with feelings of guilt and shame. Webster’s Dictionary defines guilt as “a feeling of having done wrong or failed in an obligation…A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.”
I wasn’t wrong or foolish to ask for fair payment for services rendered. So why was charging a reasonable fee so hard? After prayerful searching, the answer hit me like a brick: because I felt my work was part of His call on my life. It was not just a job—it was (and is) a ministry for me. My question was, if my work is part of fulfilling God’s call on my life, how can ministry and money co-exist?
Advice from the Master
As I began to share my dilemma with colleagues and friends, I discovered that others were having this same challenge. I encouraged them to charge what their services were worth and not be controlled by their emotions. However, to be authentic, I had to resolve the issues for myself.
So, I turned to the Master Advisor who could answer anything I threw at him. Over time, he gave me three principles which guide my business to this day:
1. Working for compensation is a part of God’s perfect design
Receiving compensation for our labors is part of the system established for humanity by the Master Creator. After all, He gave Adam the job to dress and keep the garden, which provided Adam and Eve with all they would need to live. In the NASB, Matthew 10:10 says “…the worker is worthy of his support.” The expectation to work to live is reflected throughout His Word. God’s design is perfect, so why would I reject this part of it?
2. I am worthy of fair compensation
More often than not, the most common roots of our money issues come down to faulty beliefs: that at the core, we are unworthy, unable, or unfair. However, those words imply that as God’s masterpieces, we are not good, and he was faulty in how he created us. When I have a case of unworthy/unable, I’m gently reminded he uniquely created me to do what I do. From his vantage point, I have something valuable to contribute.
As far as the word “unfair” goes, His Word says to not take advantage of others, but it doesn’t say not to charge them at all. In business, as in all of life, we need to seek a proper heart attitude about money.
Don’t be limited by a faulty mindset: examine your heart to ensure money is in proper perspective; research going rates in your chosen field; and charge a fair rate.
3. Being paid fairly helps us impact others
Through proper payment you’re positioned to continue to serve others through your job.
Proverbs 31 describes a business woman who “knows what she makes is good” and “makes linen clothes and sells them.” This remarkable woman was able to impact her family, staff, community, and ultimately—by her inclusion in the Bible—the entire world.
How could God use us, if we firmly believed in our abilities and worth?
© 2001 - 2014 H. E. Butt Foundation. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from Laity Lodge and TheHighCalling.org. Article by Kimberley Parsons.