We’re finally down to the last two commandments in the “Ten Commandments of Making Money ” series based on the book “Thou Shall Prosper- Ten Commandments for Making Money ” by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. If you haven’t already, I strongly urge you to pick up the book.
If you want to learn the concepts that have made the Jewish people so successful over thousands of years, this book will show you the mind blowing, yet common sense concepts that have made that happen.
I can tell you that they have changed my outlook on money and business in a way that no other book ever has. Following these ten commandments will definitely make you successful!
Now, let’s get to commandments 9 and 10.
Commandment #9: Act Rich- Give Away 10% of Your After Tax Income
The ninth commandment for making money is not about making money, but giving it away. This chapter of the book starts with this statement by Rabbi Lapin: “Through the magical alchemy of money, giving charity jump starts wealth creation” .
Giving away your hard earned money is not a rational act. When you give it away, it’s natural to assume that your money is gone forever and you end up with less because you gave it to someone else. However, Jewish (and Christian) tradition teaches that when you give your money away, more will return back to you.
So how does this happen?
It’s because giving away money opens up a direct channel for God’s blessings to reach you. We were made in the image of God. So when we give, we receive the blessings that God intended for givers like Him. In the end, giving always increases the wealth of the donor so he can give again.
A Real World Example
This reminds me of a conversation I had just a few days ago with a pastor friend of mine. We were talking about the difference between those that give and those that don’t. He related to me his experience of giving to needy church members out of the church’s benevolence fund. He made the statement that those who need the aid are always non-givers or inconsistent givers, and that he’s never had to use the benevolence fund to aid someone who consistently gives.
That conversation reminded me of a great statement in the book. It’s a quote from the Midrash (a commentary on Hebrew scripture) on the book of Proverbs. It says “if you see someone donating to charity, be assured that his wealth is increasing.”
3 Things Giving Does For You
Although none of it makes rational sense, giving can provide some very concrete things in your life that will make you more successful:
- Giving Will Increase Faith- It’s hard to let go of your money. You have to have faith that letting go of it will do some good in the world. You have to learn to trust that it will come back to you in some way, as it says in scripture. Giving is an act of total trust that develops your faith in God.
- Giving is an Investment- It’s an investment in your wellbeing, your spirit, and in other people. When you invest, more often than not, you get a return. Sometimes it’s a small return, sometimes it’s exponential, but a return will happen when you’re a giver.
- Giving Aids Human Interaction- In order to be a giver, you have to have interaction with people who see you as a giver, and this benefits you in many ways (See commandment #2).
One More Benefit to Giving
Giving also focuses you outside of yourself. It keeps arrogance and greed at bay and helps you see the needs of others. Giving makes you feel good about yourself, and helps to erase doubt as to whether or not you’re worthy of financial success. It allows you to see yourself as a giver, not a taker. Giving enhances your mood and allows you to feel large, benevolent, and expansive instead of desperate, greedy, and petty.
This commandment sums things up by stressing that one of the most important habits that anyone interested in increasing wealth should acquire is giving away money. Following the biblical blueprint for giving always allows you to thrive, and increases the wealth of the donor.
Takeaways From the 9th Commandment for Making Money- Giving is an irrational act. It makes no mathematical sense that it works, but it will always enhance your wealth, your spirit, and your connectedness to others.
Commandment #10: Never Retire
In the Hebrew language, if there is no word for a concept, then that concept doesn’t exist. Of all the words in the Hebrew language, there are none that equate to the concept of retirement. Because the Jews believe that Hebrew is God’s language, retirement is not a generally accepted principle in the Jewish culture.
However, the prevalent attitude here in the U.S. and other western countries is that of retiring as early as possible, then taking things easy for the rest of your life. But is that a healthy belief? According to Jewish wisdom, it’s not.
Retirement is a Modern Concept
In fact the concept of retirement is really a modern phenomenon, as evidenced by a 1950 survey that showed most workers of that era aspired to work as long as possible. They, and the generations before them, recognized that retirement is writing the end to a story that isn’t yet finished.
We Were Made For Work
Planning on retiring at a certain age, according to Rabbi Lapin, is a recipe for unhappiness and decline. It’s totally counter to why we were created in the first place. We were created for work. Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden to work it, fulfilling his destiny to partner with the creator in the act of creation. Because of that, you should view your creative and professional life as an ongoing process with no expiration date. Your usefulness to the world is not a finite resource that gets used up. So when you retire and no longer add to the world through work, you deteriorate.
Why does that deterioration happen?
It’s because the human psyche has a need to do useful work. God made it so that your entire existence is bound up in the need to do things for others. Therefore, one of the keys to longevity is caring for others. Life revolves around relationships, and caring for others through work helps us to care for ourselves as well.
3 Retirement Lies
Rabbi Lapin also discusses the 3 lies of the retirement myth:
Work Has No Value In And Of Itself- If you believe that work is only a means to an end, you are lying to yourself. It has intrinsic value beyond making money. Pope John Paul II echoed ancient Jewish wisdom when he wrote that work helps a man “achieve fulfillment as a human being. Work expresses his dignity and increases it: It provides him with the wherewithal to have a family, and it links him with his neighbor. Not to mention also contributing to the wealth of his neighbors.”
People Become Less Productive and Less Useful As They Age- As you age you form more wisdom and relationships, which actually can increase your usefulness and ability to create revenue. A person’s real economic value is spiritual, not physical. Even though your physical body may not have the capacity for work it once did, it doesn’t render you useless.
People Are Consumers, Rather Than Creators- You are more than a mouth to feed. You are a creative entity that has the ability to add to the world. Retiring and turning off creative efforts makes you nothing more than a body occupying space, waiting to die. Being involved in creative effort is what we were made to do. Even if you’re too feeble for physical labor, there is mental and spiritual energy available that allows you to add something to the world you live in.
We Have to Stay Engaged
He also argues that you don’t want to be in the position where you have to work in your old age. But you should be striving to work at something to stay busy, make money, and create value in the world. This is what we were made for, and it makes us feel useful and happy. That doesn’t mean you have to work 40 hours a week when you’re 80 in some corporate job. It doesn’t mean you necessarily have to have a formal job. It does mean you need to stay engaged, productive, and even making money so you’re fulfilling God’s purpose for being here, which is helping others.
Takeaways For the Tenth Commandment For Making Money: Retirement should never be your goal. God made us for work and creativity. We should continue to add to the world in some way until it is impossible to do so. This is what keeps us moving, fulfilled, and happy.
I have never read a more in depth, complete book on financial success, especially from a godly perspective. If you want to learn everything it takes to be financially successful in business and in your personal finances, this book certainly shows gives you all the tools you need. The principles found in “Thou Shall Prosper- Ten Commandments for Making Money” are so much deeper than just the ten commandments mentioned in the title.
The detail with which Rabbi Lapin describes the principles, along with the mysteries of the Hebrew language and ancient teachings, bring the material to life in a way that few authors can. When he talks about the financial truths that the Jewish people have been taught for millennia, he goes into great detail to make sure you understand why these principles work, and how they will make you successful.
I can honestly say that the first time I read it, my mind was blown. It immediately changed my perspective of how I view money, work, and connectedness. I wholeheartedly recommend this book. If you would like to purchase this book, it’s available on Amazon at this link (aff link).