“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.” – Ephesians 6:7
Two business partners were discussing their goals for the next year. “Let’s try to make more money,” said the first one, to which the other responded, “Why don’t we instead try to serve and help more people?”
In the preface to his classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning, renowned psychiatrist, author, and Holocaust survivor Dr. Viktor Frankl wrote: “Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. . . I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run – in the long run, I say! – success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.”
The bedrock of our financial system and the hope for the future of our prosperity resides in our capacity to create and provide value to other human beings. Work, in other words, must be first and foremost about creating value rather than making money. Money is only a byproduct, a means of exchange, a way of measuring value. That should be resounding good news for all of us during these difficult pandemic times, that each of us has the capacity to contribute to the eradication of the disease, the recovery of the economy, and a return to normalcy, by creating value in serving others. Then we will live to see, as Dr. Frankl pointed out, that in the long run money and success will follow.
Ultimately, the abundance we realize in our lives will be the result of the value we create, not the money we make or the things we accumulate. We can all learn from the wise business partner who asked, “Why don’t we instead try to serve and help more people?” Or as the Apostle Paul advised, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.”