Read Nehemiah 5:1 through 7:73

Andrew Carnegie built a steel-manufacturing empire in nineteenth-century America. He was a billionaire in today’s dollars. But Carnegie is best remembered for how he distributed his money rather than how he made it. He retired in 1901 and devoted the rest of his life to philanthropy. He built public libraries in the United States, Great Britain, and other nations. He generously supported several colleges, including Tuskegee Institute—one of the earliest colleges for African-Americans. He established a pension fund for college professors through the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain. But let the exacting of usury stop! (Nehemiah 5:10).

Nehemiah contrasted his business and leadership practices with those of other wealthy nobles. He insisted that all transactions should be carried out with the goal of helping others rather than taking advantage of them. He demonstrated that authority and wealth are gifts from God for the purpose of demonstrating God’s love.

Thought for Today: How can you structure your business practices to bring the greatest blessing to all involved?

Quicklook: Nehemiah 5:1–12