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Hi, I'm Brooke! I'm a believer, wife, mama to two, Oklahoma photographer, and photography business coach.
I help photographers grow profitable full-time businesses from home.
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Is your perception of finances biblical? In this episode of the Five Star Business Podcast, I’m joined by Heather Shriver Burns to discuss the truth about prosperity, abundance and money.
Brooke: I hope you’re ready because you’re about to get fired up! Heather Shriver Burns of the Seek First CEO Podcast and I are diving into what God says about money, prosperity and abundance.
Heather: I’m so passionate about this and can’t wait to present this topic in a healthy way. I have been an entrepreneur for the past eight years. Currently, I’m a coach and help women with mindset. It’s so fitting to talk about money, because a lot of what we experience in life regarding money, has to do with what you believe about it. Not just consciously, but subconsciously.
Brooke: Heather truly has a heart for Jesus and she’s a credible, trustworthy resource when it comes to this topic. I really want to set someone free today from the limiting beliefs about abundance, prosperity and making money in their business.
Heather: Money is such a personal topic, which is why we think it’s sensitive. It’s something that we all need and use every day. The two things the Lord is always working out in me is pride and something related to money.
Anything I share today is from what the Lord has taught me and continues to teach me. Christians need to be more open with discussing money because Jesus talked about it a lot. If He did, then we need to also.
Brooke: The struggle lies within discerning what is biblical and isn’t. What is too much prosperity and what is not? The word abundance gets thrown around in both New Age and biblical conversations and so I want to define prosperity. What does that even mean?
Heather: Prosperity is the condition of being prosperous, having good fortune, and experiencing any business or enterprise success in respect of anything good or desirable. There’s a couple of different definitions so what I like to do is look up prosperity in Hebrew or Greek.
The Hebrew word for prosperity can mean flourishing, well-being, growth, bloom, flowering, success and luck. When you start to study Hebrew and Greek, you’ll learn that there are multiple meanings of one word. When I think of the word bloom and flourish, I don’t think prosperity sounds selfish.
What is the first word that comes to your mind when you think of money? Because money doesn’t necessarily mean prosperity or abundance. God can show up in our life in ways that are abundant and prosperous, but aren’t tied to money.
But somehow, in the business sense, money is tied to prosperity and abundance. God wants to prosper you. That is biblical. But it seems like Christians are afraid of making money. You’ve heard things like “money is the root of all evil” or “rich people are mean or bad”, depending on the dialogue that was in your home. The way you grew up has a lot to do with what you believe about money and what you believe about people who are wealthy or poor.
Jim Baker, a pastor out of Ohio, says that prosperity is being debt free. Biblical prosperity is being debt free, having no debt, and having more than enough to fill your calling, and to help other people fulfill theirs. For someone who is called to be a missionary in a third world country, prosperity is going to look different than somebody who’s called to Hollywood because it’s just a different way of life.
You can’t judge your business success based off of someone else’s numbers. You can’t compare your success to someone else’s because God might be calling you to something different. Judging your success based on what you see on social media leads to a slippery slope. Don’t forget to stop and ask God, what prosperous looks like for your life, family, and business.
Brooke: Money is a resource. I believe that’s why money gets wrapped up in abundance and prosperity. It’s a part of business, it’s a resource and a tool. It’s what you exchange for the things that you want. The practical thing here is to pray. Ask God what prosperity looks like for you. Because I know it’s different.
Heather: Everything, including money, is a resource but God is the source. When you get that twisted, is when you start to go down that slippery slope. There are a lot of people who talk against the “prosperity gospel”.
My hope is that kingdom minded Christian believers start talking more about prosperity from a biblical context rather than bashing how people have twisted it. Because now people think that prosperity is not of God and isn’t good. You might not think that consciously, but what you believe subconsciously you will base 80 to 90% of your decisions on. Whatever you believe about prosperity, abundance, and money are going to impact your decisions.
The Bible says that you can only worship one God. You can’t worship God and money. Philippians 4:19 says, “my God will supply every need.” If you believe that money will supply your every need, then there’s a chance that you have a mix up around money, prosperity, and abundance.
Acts 2:21 says, “and it shall be that everyone who has money shall be saved.” Sometimes we think that money is going to save us from our situation. It doesn’t take away the reality that money is something we do need. But God promises to provide all of our needs.
Back to success and comparison, the amount I’m bringing in financially looks a whole lot different today than it did three or four years ago. My business is slower. So, I’ve had to define what success means biblically. At its simplest form, success is obedience to what the Lord’s asked me to do and it can look different in your business and personal life, depending on the season of life you’re in.
You have to have that relationship with the Lord to say, “God, you define success for me.” Success is a universal from a Christian biblical perspective. It’s obedience and saying yes to the call, no matter how scared or uncomfortable you are. That no matter what it does to you, you know that God asked you to do it and You’re going to give Him a yes. Success is in the action, not in the outcome.
Brooke: This goes back to the first two episodes that I put out on the podcast, which was understanding your season. What are your priorities? Balance does not mean everything’s equal. Balance means that you have your priorities straight. You’re giving the exact amount of time and attention to the thing that God has called you to do.
Episode three was all about biblical goal setting, having a plan and taking it back to the Lord. Just submit it to Him because ultimately, He’s the one that is going to drive that for you. It’s all about just trusting God and releasing that control.
If someone is feeling discouraged, if they aren’t seeing results they want or if they are stuck in limiting beliefs about money or prosperity, how do they begin to learn to trust God? How can they feel encouraged to take action in their business, even if they aren’t seeing the fruit?
Heather: If you are doing all you can do in your business and still aren’t seeing the results that you want, be encouraged. You don’t always see what’s under the surface or what God is doing behind the scenes. You have to trust what God is doing and adopt a healthy harmony of being content. Know that what you’re doing right now is what God has asked you to do.
You can be content and grateful and still say, “Lord, I know that I’m doing what you’re asking. Even though I might not see what I thought or what I wanted, I’m content I’m satisfied in you. Because you are what I really want. Jesus you are who I really need.” You have permission to be content and still have a feeling of dissatisfaction that you can bring to Him in prayer.
We also know that God is a good father. If an evil earthly father gives his son good gifts, don’t you think the Father is going to give you good gifts too? God has more for you, and He wants to make sure you’re ready to receive it.
God wants to take us deeper into knowing, trusting and loving Him more. If we’re constantly building a deeper intimacy with Him talking to Him more and learning how to hear His voice, then He’s going to continue to trust us with more.
Being content and dissatisfied can coexist. I want to caution you though. The unhealthy degree of contentment is complacency. You don’t want to get complacent. The unhealthy degree of dissatisfaction is discouragement. Feeling like something didn’t perform as well as your thought or wondering if God truly called you to something. When really, God maybe giving you a heart check and reminding you to bring your focus back to Him.
We can battle worldly prosperity and success, things like money or fame, how popular you are on Instagram or whatever. So, you have to know what the Holy Spirit is telling you versus what our flesh is trying to get you to believe. You can be in a season of contentment and dissatisfaction, but at the same time, know that God has more for you.
You can be grateful with where you’re at when you feel dissatisfied because you know that God is good and has more for you. He’s preparing you for the next thing. Trust that and know that God is preparing you for the next thing. Find contentment in your dissatisfaction because of your faith in Him.
Brooke: If you are missing the contentment piece, it may be because you’re forgetting to practice gratitude. Abundance is having more than enough. Practice gratitude even when you may not have everything you want, but you still have more than enough.
One practice that you can implement is to thank God for what you have. Pick one to three things a day. It can even be the simplest, materialistic item. But the more you go back to a state of gratitude, the more it helps you trust God. Because 99% of us are experiencing abundance even when we want more.
God also shifted my mindset about number and results in my business. I’m in a season of pivoting and starting a new podcast. Instead of looking at the number of downloads and saying, “only 42 people downloaded this today” and feeling discouraged, God is calling me to instead, see that 42 people have been impacted and encouraged because of the podcast. So, it’s now a positive thing. I’m now defining my success as impact, how many people have I impacted today?
Heather: You have to remember that the people that you’re serving are souls. Every person you serve, whether you’re a coach, or you have a product or service, there is a soul on the other side of that. A soul that the enemy and God are warring for. So, I love the idea of focusing on impact.
There’s so much more in business than numbers. You can see the impact you have in heaven when you’ve planted a seed and led someone to Christ or led them to learn more or dive deeper into their faith. Sometimes fruit is not financial, but it is eternal. You’re here for such a bigger purpose than making a lot of money.
Brooke: What would you say to someone who is yearning for more in their business? They “need” more clients or “need” more money? How would you encourage them to put their trust in God?
Heather: Anytime you focus on “need”, it’s very pressure filled. There’s a lot of anxiety and desperation with that. I always say that people can smell that, especially when you’re in sales. They can sense your neediness and pressure.
Replace that “need to” with the phrase, “choose to”. Instead of saying, “I need another client.” Say, “I choose to take on another client.” It opens it up to possibilities rather than desperation. Sometimes God will answer those prayers. Sometimes He doesn’t.
You have to continue to believe that God is who He says. He is our provider. Maybe you log into your bank account today and it doesn’t look very prosperous or doesn’t look like there’s abundance there. Try to have a kingdom perspective. You have the opportunity to choose to believe God is who He says He is even if your circumstances look a little bit down. Choose to believe that God is going to show up.
Do not grow weary running your race. That’s what the enemy would love for you to do. Because if you have a heart to not just serve people, but to serve the Lord through your business and co-labor with Him, then you’re making a much bigger impact than the person who is building a business in the secular world.
And we wonder why the world is winning at business and Christian women are struggling? It’s because we have a twisted mindset about money, prosperity, and abundance. Maybe you were taught growing up, that Jesus was poor. But Jesus wasn’t poor. His life reflected abundance and prosperity. So, I’ve had to do a lot of work, a lot of repenting around my mindset about money.
Choose to have a mindset shift and identify what you’ve been believing. Recognize the limiting beliefs, the lies of the enemy, so that you can make a choice. It comes down to a mindset shift and a heart posture. Have a conversation with God, tell Him where you’re at and ask for His clarity.
Brooke: I love that God can use business to bring us back to Him and to help prosper us. Is there anything else you want to leave us with?
Heather: God is our Father. Jesus cried out to Him, “Abba.” Which is similar to the word “daddy”. God is a father and a father’s job is to train his children, to love, nurture and guide them. Ask the Father to instill in you a healthy mindset around money and help you in the areas that you’re struggling with.
Brooke: Tell us a little more about what you do so we can connect with you.
Heather: I have my master neuroscience certification and then I have my biblical life coaching certification. I’m very passionate about helping the entrepreneur with their soul. Your soul is actually your mind, your will, and your emotions. We tend to work on our business a lot but neglect our soul’s needs. So, I’m kind of a coach for your soul care. Once you get your soul right, then your business naturally follows.
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