Why Are There So Many Numbers in the Bible?
Have you ever stopped to consider how often numbers are mentioned in the Holy Scriptures? The answer is “a lot!” The number 40 is used 100 times, 12 is used about 130 times, and 10 is used over 150 times. God counts not only the stars in the sky but also the hairs on your head. Do a quick word search on “numbered” in the Bible and see how many times God numbered things…whoa!
I’m not a Biblical numerologist and can’t say I believe much in what they teach. I am convinced, however, God is a God of numbers. We not only have an entire book in the Bible dedicated to these little arithmetic symbols, we also see them across the millennium in God’s creation – from the basis for math as a universal language to the Fibonacci sequence in trees, flowers and fruit. This includes the staggering importance of numbers within the many and varied Biblical money matters. The importance of numbers to understanding the scriptures and our wonderful God simply can’t be measured (pun intended).
What Did Jesus Say About Numbers?
Jesus taught about numbers and the principles of economics as well – including the parables of The Two Debtors, The Talents, The Dishonest Steward, The Ten Virgins, The Unmerciful Servant, and the Hidden Treasure. There is so much packed into the New Testament alone about wages and earnings and profit and budgeting and debt and savings it simply can’t be ignored by Christians. Indeed, just knowing your household finances will serve you well in this life and the life to come.
If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?
So how about knowing the numbers that surround your career? How well do you know them?
The more familiar you are with the business figures, the more you will be entrusted with leadership responsibility. It’s that simple. It’s one of the best pieces of career advancement advice I can give you.
The higher up the ladder you climb, numbers become infinitely more important. Just imagine how unstable a CEO would be who has no idea of the company stock price, employee head count, capital assets, quarterly revenue or annual profit.
We work for an awesome God who loves us and knows what we need. We don’t work for man and we don’t fear man. We strive ambitiously in the workplace, diligent with our responsibilities and loving in all our deeds because God is our boss. And if we want to grow our career, we want to have a strong handle on the numbers that swirl about us. Not because we want to avoid embarrassment, because we want to be our very best.
Sales Representatives want to know precisely how to calculate their commission plan. Project Managers want to know if their project is delivering within planned budget. Quality managers want to know defect rate and tact time. Directors want to know gross margin, Cost of Goods Sold and forecast. Marketing managers want to know ROI (return on investment) for each advertising dollar spent. Farmers want to know crop yield. Retail managers want to know product sales and inventory. The list goes on and on.
The Most Important Numbers to Know
The most important set of numbers are those used to measure your own performance in your current role. This is vital to your career advancement. Do you know what results the business is expecting from you? If you are a CEO, the answer is easy: earnings, returns and revenue. But what if you are a Tech Support Rep or a School Teacher or an Engineer or Software Developer or Architect or Business Analyst or Sales Support or Movie Editor etc.?
If your leadership team hasn’t told you, find out! If your management team doesn’t know, sit down with them and define what they consider solid performance, mediocre performance and best in class performance. Set goals and targets for exceeding their expectations and help others in your department reach their goals. If you were on a sports team, the number rests on the big scoreboard and everyone knows it. You all work toward making your number bigger than the opposing team’s number.
In the workplace, numerical performance has become nebulous for most employees, middle managers and even directors. You want to grow your career. I know this because you are a follower of Christ and he calls us to be excellent in everything we do. Know your numbers, grow your career.