The spiritual economy is based on me getting profit or gaining from what I give away. This is the opposite of the earthly economy.
The spiritual economy is the opposite from the earthly economy.
The earthly economy is based on what I have that you don’t have. So I need to protect what I have that you don’t have because that’s my source of profit.
Some examples of Earthly Economy are
- Work Capacity
- Physical Goods
…but I have something that you don’t have.
If you want, I’ll give it to you but only if you give me money.
For example, if I’m a motorcycle mechanic and you drive a motorcycle but it breaks down I’ll fix it for you if you pay me.
I’m not going to give you the tools and show you how to fix it yourself. In other words, I’m going to protect what I have that you don’t. So I’ll do it for you and you pay me. Fair enough.
The spiritual economy is completely the opposite.
The spiritual economy is based on me getting profit or gaining from what I give away. It’s completely different from the earthly economy.
Examples of Spiritual Economy in the Bible
- Matthew 10: Jesus tells his followers “freely you have received freely give”.
- Luke 12:48: It says “from those to whom much has been given much shall be required”.
- 2 Timothy 2:2: It says “the things that you’ve heard from me in the presence of many witnesses these entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others”.
- The parable of the talents: This parable is entirely about people gaining profit by investing what they have, being faithful in using what the Lord has given them.
This idea is throughout Scripture and it just seems counter intuitive to us, but it’s absolutely true.
How Does Spiritual Economy Work?
If we are faithful in obeying and sharing with others truth that God has revealed to us, he will reveal more truth to us.
If we are faithful in sharing with others what we know of the character and nature of God. He will reveal more of himself to us.
This is the path to experiencing the abundant life which God intends for each of us.
This is the way that we can, in a sense, discern and uncover those good works which he has prepared beforehand for us to walk in like it talks about in Ephesians 2:10.
Spiritual Economy in Your Day to Day Life
This spiritual economy needs to affect every aspect of our lives as a disciple. It’s like spiritual breathing:
- We breathe in as we hear from God
- We breathe out as we apply that, and we share it with others
Knowledge and Faithfulness
This pattern or cycle should characterize every aspect of our lives as a follower of Christ both individually and corporately. In short, we breathe in as we hear from God we breathe out as we obey and share with others.
We tend to think of maturity as knowledge, but as a matter of fact, knowledge in and of itself isn’t that great, it’s not that important, it’s not that helpful.
Scripture tells us you know knowledge puffs up, so it’s not about how much we know.
For example, Satan knows more Scripture than any Christian, but he doesn’t respond appropriately to it.
The demons believe and tremble. So having right belief isn’t enough. Therefore, we need to be concerned with being faithful, being healthy, and that means balancing knowledge with obedience with sharing with others.
When these are kept in balance, we are stewarding well what God has given us and he will invest more in us. This is the path to greater maturity because God will grow us if we’re faithful in what he’s already given us.
So the spiritual economy is like a three-legged stool; a three-legged stool is useless if you have one or two legs that are way shorter than the other. You need them to all be in balance and then the stool is useful.
How to Demonstrate Faithfulness as a new believer
If you are concerned in practicing faithfulness to God as a new believer, you can do so in the following way:
- Apply whatever you learn
- Share it with others
- Then maturity will come
Maturity takes time and we are all on a journey toward maturity. This is something that in some senses is out of our control in terms of timing but we need to be concerned with constantly being faithful because that is the path to maturity.
More Multiplication Concepts
This concept is part of the “Multiplication Concepts” series by Curtis Sergeant. This series contains an entire list of concepts on how to multiply. Consider working through the entire series and challenging someone you know to do it with you.
This same concept is taught in the Zúme Training course using video animation and is translated into 40 languages. The Spiritual Economy concept is taught in “The Kingdom Economy” (Session 3) of the Zúme Training.
Zúme Training is an on-line and in-life learning experience designed for small groups who follow Jesus to learn how to obey His Great Commission and make disciples who multiply.