Without Jacob types, the world is just a bit drabber. You’re often looked to as one who can turn an intense situation around, or perhaps come in with a fresh and innovative perspective on how to make a project, home, or situation turn toward beauty. Others may look at the way you relate to money and think you’re being extravagant.
This can be the case. However, it is more likely that you see the world in fuller color than the average person, whether this is through music, design, art, or even relationships — you see what something can be as opposed to what it is. You love deeply, so use your money to express that deep love for the world around you in responsible ways.
Embrace your design; claim your tendency to create beauty as a partnership with God, who makes all things beautiful in their time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). You may have resisted your inclinations toward beauty; perhaps you’ve even been told people of faith should shun beauty, instead living more austere lives. We’d have to work against the whole of Scripture and the revelation of God’s beauty in creation to take them seriously, so don’t. Let beauty flow in and through you, for God is beautiful.
Accept That You Will Wrestle Between Hospitality and Discipline
You’ll always wrestle with the tension between hospitality and discipline — that is, the over-the-top, free-flowing generosity that brims forth from your soul and the feeling that you could be doing more with your money. This is by design, and it keeps you in balance — you embody the best of Abraham and Isaac, reconciling hospitality and discipline when it comes to money. Awareness that you’ll wrestle with this tension is a first step toward becoming at peace with your financial design. Viewing this characteristic as a gift that guards you from sliding into indulgence will keep you humble, in the best of ways.
Beauty is not about you. You’re here to bring God’s true beauty into the world around you; the mix of hospitality and discipline is desperately needed to do so. Many cultures celebrate self-excess, seeking to make stars out of those with talent or influence. Allow the hospitality within you to continually orient you toward others, keeping you from self-indulgence and ultimately pride. It’s often said we are blessed so we can be a blessing. While not speaking explicitly about finances, the principle the apostle Paul set forth applies to the way we handle money: God comforts us “so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4). At your best, this comes naturally. When your shadow side casts upon your finances, you’ll lavish too much financial energy on yourself.
Build rhythms of grace into your giving that orient you toward others. Perhaps a local school needs resources, a relative has fallen on hard times, or an organization needs people to volunteer time and finances. Being a God-centered person leads you to become an others-centered person with God’s beautiful love. This orientation will keep you from thinking too much of yourself and falling into pride.
Plan for Moments to Come
One way to guard against your shadow side is to take a longer-term view of the consequences of your financial decisions. You’ll need to make certain that, amid all the opportunities to engage with your heart’s desires now, you have planned financially for what your heart will desire down the road. After taking care of key needs first (utilities, savings, groceries, and so on), have a sustainable, long-term financial plan that will allow you to be a blessing to the world for years to come. When it comes to money, you like to live in the moment, but you also need to plan for moments to come.
Remember that boundaries make all things beautiful. The Lord set the limits between earth and sky, between sea and land. Know when enough is enough, and if you have a hard time discerning this or taking the long view, ask someone to help. It can be tough to rein in your energies, and even your money, so it’s a good thing for you to have a budget set aside for projects and people you want to bless with your creative touch. Others may seek to drain the life and resources out of you, so realize there is nothing beautiful about a bloodsucker — you may have to flick them off your finances and move on. Honor your boundaries and make things beautiful in the space between them.
Keep Attention Off Yourself
Jesus taught that when you give, you should do so without letting the left hand know what your right hand is doing (Matthew 6:3). He understood the tendency of the human heart to want to take credit for doing good, or perhaps to use a financial gift as leverage for when you need to cash in a favor. Avoid this temptation at all costs.
In so much as it is in your power, be generous covertly, in secret, and allow the person to wonder where the good gift came from.
Ultimately, you’ll be hoping all along that they suspected it was a blessing from God. That’s your goal, after all — to draw attention to God’s beauty.
From Shame to Delight: A Jacob Type Embraces Her Design
Deidre lowered her head and sat in silence. “I’ve always felt like it was a sin, the way I like nice things, how I enjoy creating beautiful spaces with furnishings, my love for jewelry and nice shoes. That might sound stupid, but I’ve been ashamed of it for as long as I can remember.” The rest of the group sat respectfully silent. We were studying the Jacob money type together, and Deidra was experiencing a moment of awareness of how and why she thought and felt about money the way she did.
“Can you remember the first time you felt shame for loving nice things?” one of the group asked her.
“I don’t remember how old I was,” she responded, “but I remember being in church. The preacher told me we weren’t supposed to love anything in the world, and that we should desire only heavenly things.”
I’ve heard this faulty doctrine many times: if you love things in the world, you can’t love and be devoted to God. Certainly, we can become too focused on things that don’t matter eternally, but it’s unbiblical and dangerous to propose that God’s good earth and its resources are to be shunned and not enjoyed. That’s Neoplatonic dualism, not biblical Christian or Jewish theology.
The longer we talked, and the more we explored how God used Jacob’s life to reveal the truth that we can and should use resources to bring about beauty in the world, the more at ease Deidre became. The next week she entered the room wearing sparkly earrings and some really nice heels. She smiled and said, “Listen, I’ve spent far too long dressing down to make everyone around me happy, and I’ve been miserable. It’s time I embraced who I am.” We all smiled as we watched a dear friend shed the guilt that had plagued her for far too long. And lest you think Deidre became some self-absorbed narcissist, you’ll be happy to know that the following week her company posted pictures on social media of her and her colleagues, all in ratty blue jeans, building a home for a single mother.
A Blessing for Jacob Types
We see God in you — in your love for beauty, a beauty that endures. You remind us there’s more to this life than simply getting stuff done. Spending time with you is refreshing. You provoke us to pause, reflect, and consider the lilies of the field. The atmospheres you create nurse our souls back to health — we feel God’s beauty in the spaces and places we enjoy in your presence. Life truly is good when we’re with you.
Thank you for reminding us of the God who created the heavens and the earth and saw that they were good. We see God shining through your beautiful, creative presence.
Scriptures for the Beautiful Soul
Read the following Scriptures, each accompanied by words to personalize this exercise. Notice the one with which you most resonate. Then softly read it aloud several times, write it out, and ponder it until you can almost recall it from memory. Over the coming days, find affirmation in knowing that you bring God’s love into the world in meaningful ways, and that the Scriptures affirm your way of being in the world related to resources.
• I am designed to see the beauty of God all around me, for “the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1).
• I am called to contemplate “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable… anything… excellent or praiseworthy” (Philippians. 4:8).
• My desire is to see God’s beauty shine forth in the earth. “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).
Reflection Questions for Jacob Types
• In what ways do you use money to create beautiful environments or experiences? How does this make you feel?
• Who else in your life is a Jacob type?
• With which of the core characteristics or stories about Jacob or Jacob types did you most resonate and why? How do you see yourself in light of this characteristic or story?
• Do you experience financial tension with certain people? If so, in what way might your Jacob money type contribute to this tension?
• What is one thing you plan to do differently with money now that you understand your Jacob money type?
• What is the greatest truth you’ve learned about the Jacob money type?
Excerpted with permission from The Seven Money Types by Tommy Brown, copyright Thomas Brown.
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Are you a Jacob money type? Are you a giver and a sharer of God’s lavish beauty? Come share your thoughts on how Jacob types can express their deep love for the world in responsible ways. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily