Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest. 2 Kings 4:7 KJV
What I want to share with you in this article is very important; though it is not for everybody. I want to speak particularly to Christian brothers and sisters who are just like me in temperament and attitude. I am a man of many skills and competencies, and I do not find it hard acquiring more. From Science and Mathematics teaching, to audio/video editing, to Graphics Design, to writing, to social media marketing, to basic website design, to online broadcasting and much more. Most of these acumens are inert, and I only had one or two paid classes in all to acquire these skills. Right from my days in the university, I was the ‘go-to’ guy when it comes to computers and all that. Even when I did not have a laptop of mine own, I was used to having 2-3 laptops on my table and working on them all at once. However, one thing made all these skills and competencies of no financial worth to me – I did not know how to market myself. I would rather do things for people free of charge than charge them a penny for it. In fact, I find it difficult charging anybody money for anything. So, I usually prefer to do things free of charge, hoping that people will appreciate – and usually, they don’t!
One day during a Bible study, I came across a scripture that changed my life and set me on a new path. It was from the book of Luke 12 vs. 33; “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth” (KJV). This was not the first time I was meeting this verse. I’ve read it almost all through my life and never saw it in that light. For me, all I used to see was that Jesus was calling us to be sacrificial givers and all that, and to make investments in heaven- which is also true. However, that day, I saw that first line in its true light. The Lord said, “sell that ye have, and give to the poor”. That got me thinking: If I have something, why don’t I give it to the poor so that I can meet the needs of the poor? But the Lord did not say I should give what I have; rather, he said I should sell what I have. To sell means to sell; there are no spiritual dimensions to it. To sell means that you should carry what you have, take it to the market, put a price tag on it and sell it. That is what selling means. Whether in Greek, Hebrew or Latin, to sell means to sell. You get the point?
That day, my perspective shifted. I began to see that it is not spirituality that I am allowing people to leverage on what I have free of charge, while still complaining that I don’t have money. God expects me to utilize whatever he had given me to make money. That was the beginning of my foray into the business world. I have not fully learnt, neither have I perfected in the art, but I would never had started had it not been that I saw this scripture, and discovered that selling what I have was not an advice but a command from the Lord. It is what I must do. Just the same way I must go to evangelism, and pray and read my Bible, whether I feel like it or not; so also, I must sell what I have, whether I like it or not.
So, it was for the woman. After the miraculous provision of oil which filled the barrels, her problems were not yet solved. The oil still needed to be converted to money. If she carried the vessels of oil and started giving to people free of charge, nothing would have changed about her condition. The prophet Elisha told her to go and sell what she had, and recover money to pay her debt and live on the rest.
It takes a lot of discipline and courage to sell. In fact, before Jesus’ instruction to his disciples to sell in Luke 12 vs. 33, he told them in the previous verse, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32 KJV. It is fear that prefers many from selling. They wonder, whether their product good enough? Do people like it? Is it too costly? Will people buy it? When the think all these over and over, they decide it is better to give it out free of charge than to dare to put a price tag on it.
Now, there is a time when giving things out free of charge may be right. For example, when you are starting new in a skill and you want people to know you, you may need to offer some of your services free of charge, in hope that if your services are good, you will get some recommendations. However, with time, you should outgrow that. Don’t sit on giving things out free forever. Take the bull by the horn, overcome your fear and start selling! If I could do it, so can you. I don’t think anybody reading this is worse than me when it comes to selling. Recently, someone remarked that I am good with words and he believed I can help him to do some ads for his Facebook campaign, I just smiled. He did not know that I am not yet up to a year in the selling business. Earlier this year when I called a rich friend of mine about my business prospects, he advised me to forget about business and go and look for something else; for him, I was not the business type – and he was indeed giving a true assessment of me. However, my Lord Jesus has told me to sell, and that, I must do.
Note that you cannot truly sell unless you value what you have. Price tagging is simply a product of value. When you place a price tag on what you have, it makes you to value it, and makes others to value it too. It helps you to save time which you would have spent trying to service people who need a $1 million worth of job for the price of ‘free!’
Since I am not trying to do a business seminar, but rather discussing the book of 2nd kings, I think I will stop at this point. However, I encourage everyone who is interested in pursuing this matter more to check the further resources below. I look forward to more and more businesses rising, and more Christians facing their fears and daring to place a price tag on what they have. Also, we are working together with some of our brothers to put together a business mentorship programme for believers. So, if you desire to be mentored in business, fill the form.
God bless you.