Earning or Winning Money

In Rabbi Daniel Lapin’s book Business Secrets from the Bible he has a section on the difference between earning and winning money.  According to Rabbi Lapin there is no Hebrew word for winning money.  Only for earning money.

Whereas in other languages we don’t find a word for earn.  For example in French you say gagner de l’argent for both to win and to earn money.

Lapin makes the point that what we think about money and the way it is acquired is important.  For example when someone creates a good or performs a service and then sells that good or service to another then that money is earned. Let’s take for example a construction company: a deck building business.

  1. The economy (i.e. all of us) wins/grows because value is created when the deck materials are manufactured and when the deck is installed.
  2. The deck builder wins because he/she makes a living
  3. The homeowner wins because they get to enjoy their beautiful new deck.

1Tim 5:18 ESV For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”

Alternatively, imagine someone plays and wins the lottery, or plays dice and wins money. None of the valuable benefits to others are achieved.  Creating value and benefiting others with life giving goods and services is just one of the many ways that business blesses society, and does good to our neighbors.

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