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Can You Get Rich in Your Town?

Aug 18, 2007
Russell Conwell, the founder of Temple University, was often asked the question, "Is there opportunity to get rich in my town?" As a preacher, most thought Conwell would answer as a typical preacher and tell them to focus on heavenly riches. But Conwell wasn't a typical preacher.

He would answer, "I say that you ought to get rich, and it is your duty to get rich. How many of my pious brethren say to me, 'Do you, a Christian minister, spend your time going up and down the country advising young people to get rich, to get money?' Yes, of course I do. They say, 'Isn't that awful! Why don't you preach the gospel instead of preaching about man's making money?' Because to make money honestly is to preach the gospel. That is the reason. The men who get rich may be the most honest men you find in the community..."

Conwell was a big believer in the power of biblical principles to bring about wealth. He knew that being a Christian didn't guarantee wealth, but following God's Word was the best way to do it.

One gentleman argued that it was impossible to make money in his town even if he did follow God's principles. He said, "Mr. Conwell, have you lived in my town for 31 years? You don't know that the time has gone by when you can make anything in this city?"

Conwell answered, "No, I don't think it is."

"Yes, it is; I have tried it."

"What business are you in?"

"I kept a store here for 20 years, and never made over a thousand dollars in the whole 20 years."

"Well, then, you can measure the good you have been to this city by what this city has paid you, because a man can judge very well what he is worth by what he receives; that is, in what he is to the world at this time. If you have not made over a thousand dollars in 20 years in Philadelphia, it would have been better for Philadelphia if they had kicked you out of the city 19 years and nine months ago. A man has no right to keep a store in a town 20 years and not make at least five hundred thousand dollars even though it be a corner grocery up-town.

"You say you cannot make five thousand dollars in a store now. Oh, my friends, if you will just take only four blocks around you, and find out what the people want and what you ought to supply and set them down with your pencil and figure up the profits you would make if you did supply them, you would very soon see it. There is wealth right within the sound of your voice."

Conwell gave a very famous speech called "Acres of Diamonds" that challenged people to look right in their own town to find their riches. His goal was to help you become so useful to your neighbors that they would pay you for your skills or products.
About the Author
Steve Kroening writes for Success magazine and also publishes Wisdom's Edge. You can get Biblical tips on health, finance, relationships, parenting, and success, delivered to your email inbox every week. Simply visit http://www.wisdomsedge.com and sign up for this free e-zine.
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