Introduction to lifeWealth

Wealth is an abundance of resources which we can use. The purpose of building wealth, in all its dimensions, is so that we can fully participate in the life God has given us to the full, take care of and enjoy His creation, and be a blessing to those God brings across our path.

The term we will use for true personal wealth is life wealth. This can be defined as follows:

Life wealth is the accumulation of financial, relational, physical, productive and spiritual capital, with and through which we can achieve our God given goals.

We use the term 'capital' throughout this book. The most common meaning of 'capital' is, of course the city in your nation which is the seat of government and the most important place in the nation for business and activity.  The capital in your life refers to the assets or resources which you can develop to accumulate life wealth and then use to reach your goals. Capital is normally used for a sum of money which you can use in business. This study wants to show that life wealth does not only come from money, but that there are also other very important types of 'Ife capital.'   So, capital as used in this study is a resource which you can use to achieve your life goals.

Focusing on developing, managing and growing these 5 capitals will bring balance to these five dimensions of wealth which are accessible to each one of us.

The basic idea of the 5 capitals is that God gives us many different kinds of resources to manage (and money isn’t even NEAR the top of that list!). Knowing what KIND of resource (or “capital”) you’re dealing with will help you know how to prioritize it, and build or spend it. Is relationship more important than money? I think so. Is your body more important than your spirit? I think not ... 

Here are, in brief, the 5 capitals we see revealed in Scripture, listed from lowest value to highest value.

  1. Financial capital. This includes your money, assets, and material possessions.
  2. Productive capital. This embraces your personal proficiencies, gifting, skills, IQ and attitudes plus your formal education. It embraces learning, skill development, and unique abilities and talents.
  3. Physical capital. This is all about developing our physical well-being, health, wellness, fitness, rest and recreation.
  4. Relational capital. This refers to all relationships with the people in our life; parents, siblings, extended family, friends, coworkers, teachers, neighbours, and acquaintances.
  5. Spiritual capital. This dimension embraces the place God and faith occupies in your life.

The 5 capitals are set up in a hierarchy that identifies their relative value, and it's very important to keep things in the right order, investing as though the most important things are actually the most important. For example, if we have an opportunity to invest some of our financial and physical capital to grow our spiritual capital (attending a conference or paying our pastor, for example), this should be a no-brainer. We are investing a lower-value capital (financial) to grow a higher-value capital (spiritual).

As we look at Scripture, the life of Jesus, and consider our own lives, we observe these five forms of capital revealed. Capital refers to the goods or assets we have in our possession that we can invest. Economies are built on the exchange of capital. We normally think of capital in terms of monetary value, but there are all kinds of other capitals that economists identify and theorize about. The world essentially “works” as a network of relationships where we invest particular kinds of capital in particular ways.

Jesus seemed to have a specific way of looking at capital and the realities of economics. As usual, though, he takes us beyond our normal ways of thinking and teaches us how life and capital work in the bigger picture of life with God (or, as the Bible calls it, “the kingdom of God.”) We normally think of capital as money, but it’s quite a bit more than that.

The ancient Greek Olympic games included an interesting competition. In this particular race the runners carried torches in their hands. To win, a runner not only had to cross the finish line first, he had to arrive there with his torch still lit

The concept of whole-life prosperity, which we will learn throughout this book, is much like that Greek race. Managing our finances isn’t merely about making it to the end of the month. It is also critical that we reach that goal with the rest of our lives intact. We must learn to find a balance between time, talents, and treasures—tangibles such as money or possessions, and intangibles such as the love and respect of our friends and family.

Many people live as though the way to prosperity is a hundred-meter dash. These people try to reach their financial goals in the shortest possible time. They risk time, talents, and treasures in order to obtain an economic benefit as soon as possible. The 21st century dream seems to be:

To retire as soon as you can,

With as much money as you can,

To do as little as you can,

For as long as you can!

It is important for us to understand that the path to whole-life prosperity is not a hundred-meter dash. The truth is, the route that will lead you to whole-life prosperity looks more like a cross-country marathon— complete with hills, rocks, and other obstacles.

This course wants to hep you on this life journey, to build up wealth in the five most important areas, so we can keep our torches burning and be ready to spend our wealth to reach your life goals and to be a blessing to people around us!

If you have no direction in life, you cannot rich your preferred destination. Look at this clip from "The Silly Olympics" by the Monty Python team. 

This interactive, multi-media course will help you find the right direction in your life to build whole life prosperity, which is well described by the prayer of the apostle John to his beloved friend.

Use this e-book for personal use or as a discussion tools for groups. 

1. What is Life Wealth?

2. Your Life Experience Account

3. Financial Capital

4. Physical Capital

5. Productive Capital

6. Relational Capital

7. Spiritual Capital

8. Getting started