The roots of your Fruitful Tree are the various contracts in your life. These include all forms of insurance, wills and trusts, and business entities. Each one of these is critically important. These are areas of our financial life that most of us simply gloss over because they seem unimportant, boring, or pertain to something that we think will never happen. But these are the roots of your Tree!
Let’s again look at a parable in which Jesus taught about spiritual growth, but did so by using a principle that applies to many areas of life. Jesus spoke about seeds (Luke 8:5-15) in different environments (no soil, rocky soil, thorns, good soil) to explain how the Word of God works in different people’s lives. This same principle applies to your life as a financial steward. The environment that you create for your Fruitful Tree in which to grow will determine what type of tree you are able to grow. A Tree without the proper Contracts is like the seed that grows among thorns. It is able to thrive at first when it is small, but then as it grows and has greater needs, it is choked away by one of these thorns.
In this fallen world, thorns are the very nature of life. The enemy will send thorns your way at every opportunity. If you have not taken the time to cultivate good soil, these thorns will choke you just when you thought that everything was going great. We will get into minute detail in the days ahead, but for now, let’s just give one example of how this can happen. Most people that we meet with do not have the kind of car insurance that they want once they’ve taken a few minutes to properly think through it. Most bought their insurance based solely on the ease of purchase or the cheapness of rate. Yet when we sit down and talk about it, they don’t realize that if they were to be driving down the road and hit someone while changing the channel on the radio and seriously hurt or killed the person, their own financial life would be ruined. Most people don’t have the millions of dollars judges routinely award in these cases, and if they do, they certainly would have preferred not to hand it over when there was a much cheaper solution. But they never take the time to establish strong roots and are thus choked by this thorn.
If proper roots are established, this scenario would still be horrible to be a part of, but would not be something that destroys your financial life. Instead of handing over everything you have to this poor family who is now without the ability to earn income, leaving you broke and perhaps working for them for the rest of your life, you instead have an insurance company which is ready to step in and give them the millions that they will need to carry on with life. And, with proper roots, you’ll be able to continue forward building wealth because all of your work was not choked away.
This is just one example of the many ways you are probably not prepared to build the kind of wealth God might want to bring forth in your life.
Some people are concerned that they will be insurance “poor,” which means that they will spend so much money on insurance that they will not have money to invest. This same sort of thinking carries over into other areas of life and leads to them being sloppy and short sighted in other types of contracts and entities they establish in their lives. Yet this proper root structure can be established in some areas for a reduced cost, and in others at a cost that is minimal compared to the freedom and stability these contracts bring. We’ll get into this in more detail in the days ahead. For now it’s simply important to note that the root structure supports and nourishes your Fruitful Tree. Without the proper root structure, there is sure to be some thorn or another that one day chokes the life out of your tree. With it, you have created the perfect soil for a mighty tree to spring forth!
This post is _Part 3_ in a series about the Fruitful Tree. To continue with this series, click on Part 4. To use this as a growth tool to better understand stewardship, you might start by reading Pt 1 and Pt 2.
Photo credit: projoeno