Money is of significant importance to every one of us. Some writers live on the revenue generated by their efforts. We represent a number of clients who are the main breadwinners in their families.
It is unfortunate that the role of the agent is regularly defined by the size of the deal. The film Jerry Maguire made the slick, money-centered agent into a cliche with his client shouting, “Show me the money!” Don’t get me wrong; I firmly believe the “labourer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7, KJV). You and I earn our wages. There is no entitlement or handout. If I represent a weak project, it won’t sell; and I won’t be paid. If you write a weak project, it won’t sell either.
The problem comes when money, usually a lack thereof, becomes a distraction. I remember talking to an author years ago who would live off advances and royalty checks as if they were a weekly salary. Once the bank was empty, the author would go to the publisher and beg to borrow against future earnings. This yo-yo financial state created enormous pressure on the ability of that writer to create new material.
While that is an extreme example, it is illustrative of the dangers of mismanaging money. But what about those who are driven by the need for bigger deals or even a new deal, citing money as the catalyst of their anxiety?
I came across a convicting list titled “Signs That I Love Money” from Alistair Begg in his message “Restructuring Our Finances.”
Signs that I love money:
(1) When money thoughts consume my day
(2) When the blessings of others make me jealous
(3) When success is defined by what I have vs. what I am in Jesus Christ
(4) When my family is neglected in my pursuit of money
(5) When I close my eyes to the genuine needs of others
(6) When I live in paralyzing fear of losing my money
(7) When I am prepared to borrow myself into bondage
(8) When I give to God my leftovers, rather than my first-fruits
Ouch. I wish I had not read that, for I am guilty. Instead, I should endeavor to turn that around and redeem the problem by being thankful. And what a perfect week to be thinking about that.
As we move into the season of Thanksgiving, let us give thanks. Thanks for the provisions we do enjoy. For the roof over our heads and the food on our plates. For the freedoms we enjoy and our Lord who will provide (Jehovah Jireh).
In October 1863, in the midst of a horrific Civil War and only a few months after the Battle of Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed these words:
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that [the gifts of God] should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens … to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.