Billie Beane was a MLB baseball player who never lived up to expectations. He bounced from team to team until he became weary of minor league play and became a scout for the Oakland Athletics.
Beane eventually worked his way up to GM and employed a new system of evaluating players called Sabermetrics. Evaluate players based on data points instead of feel or look. The basic principle is you are buying wins, not players. His system worked and the Athletics went to the playoffs numerous times. The Athletics is considered the best valued MLB team. It has one of the lowest salaries per team and yet the highest winning average.
The key is how to win with the players you can afford. The Boston Red Sox used Beane’s system to win the World Series in 2004 after an 88 year drought.
His story is told in the movie Moneyball.
Money influences everything in your life at some level. The question is, how do you win with what you have, not what you wish you had?
This is a big challenge. The latest research states that 78% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Basically, this means that if they miss a paycheck, everything can come crashing down. Living this way creates tremendous stress in a person’s life. Stress creates anxiety, insecurity, and pressure. Constant anxiety is not winning.
What is interesting is how people move from losing to winning. You have to address the attitudes that drive your decisions about money.
This can be tough, challenging how things have always been done…. just ask Billie Beane.
But if you want to win, you have to start. You have to dig deep and really think about why you are living the way you are living before you can start winning with money.
One of our challenges is the belief that Jesus isn't really that interested in money. He didn’t have any Himself, He didn’t manage a business, run a government, and when asked about taxes He said, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”.
But if you look at the stories He told, Jesus spoke on how we manage money, and our attitudes towards money, as much as He taught about faith and prayer.
The most important lesson He taught is how we manage the game when it comes to money is spiritually important. His spiritual “sabermetrics” gives us a perspective that allows us to win this game.
So what does winning look like? What does Jesus mean when He talks about abundance? What does He mean when He said,
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
When it comes to the game of money in your life, the goal is to win. The only question now is: what does winning actually look like?