Being a Christian can be a real challenge, especially as we’re constantly at odds with the rest of the world. No more so when it comes to applying our faith to difficult situations in business.
Anyone who’s been around the block a few times like I have will immediately recognise the reaction to when it starts getting tough in business:
- We start to close down
- We wake up before the alarm goes off
- The early morning butterflies start or return
- We start to do the urgent things over the important things
- Spend less time with our families
- We start working late
- We don’t turn off!
And the list goes on...
Is it Just the Money?
In many cases the answer seems to be simply more money or more sales. Surely, if we just get more out of the sales team, things would be better, or, maybe I should work harder?
What we don’t realise is that we’re playing straight in to the hands of the enemy. Yes, I said it, ol’ nick, satan, the devil, the father of lies. What we failed to see is that the focus on money, work and effort, ultimately translates to fear (i.e. butterflies etc), which is the strategy of the enemy who wants to thwart our plans for success.
Let’s face it, you know what you’re doing, business has been great in the past and now times are tough. We immediately blame it on the economy like everyone else does, but it doesn’t change how we feel. We have to begin believing that we, as Christians, are operating in God’s economy and not anyone else’s!
Pray or Plead?
When the going gets though the tough get going, yeah! Blah! Blah! Blah! I’ve heard it all before and some try and go to the bank for a loan. Nothing seems to work. The words in our heads switch between praying and pleading. No one seems to be able to help, everyone has got advice in one form or another, but in the end it all boils down to you – or does it?
First things first! God wants us to be extremely successful in our businesses, He always has. But we miss the mark, we get things wrong and we sin. It’s down to us to get our lives lined up with God before any changes will happen.
It’s easy to carry on doing the same things day in day out and shying away from a faith-directed purpose. We always have a choice, God gave us that choice, it’s called free will. So the decision is yours, follow God’s will for your life or follow the worlds will for your life – and that, by the way, just in case you forgot, the ruler of this world is satan, so think about this for a split second before your make up your mind.
The Decision Made for my Business
The next stage is to ensure that you’re following the basics. As in the army, basic training can seem the hardest, but you’ll see where this is going…
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate who will never leave you.
Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.
Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each one of them.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything in my name, and it will be granted!
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.
You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
Did you see it? Did you get it?
There are distinct links, a pattern, that show us how this is supposed to work. It is a system. Follow the clues that have been set out for us. From the above, I have simplified what I've noticed:
- Obey The Commandment, which is "To Love One Another"
- Love One Another and the "Kingdom of God will abide in us"
- If we abide in Him, He abides in us
- If He abides in us, we can ask the Father for anything in the name of Jesus – Wow!
The decision is, do we believe and trust in the Bible or not. Do we have faith enough to actually stop trusting the world and start trusting God as our source. As businessmen are we really capable of biblical love for our neighbour as we are instructed to do?
Ah! Yes, but what is Love
I thought you might be thinking that, so before I finish, I just wanted to confirm what love is:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and keeps no record or being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
As you can see, this "love" is not about romance but a way of living and responding. And that's our challenge, especially when it comes to changing our businesses. You've probably said to yourself, "there's got to be a better way than this?"...and there is.
The question is, can you do it? How long will you put up with the same bad, negative, crap day in and day out before you make the connection between bad things happened and the enemy. You did know that didn't you? Good stuff comes from God and bad stuff comes from the enemy, no matter what it is - just thought I'd make that one clear whilst you're here :) I guess I'm getting a little ticked off hearing Christians say that they're being tested by God either through lack of money or new business, bad relationships or poor health.
We've been given a guide book about how to live – The Bible. We can choose to just look at it sitting on our book shelves (maintaining it to be the safest place in the house to hide money because no one looks at it) or we can make a decision to learn about Gods plan for us in this life and realise that we have been give a great opportunity and responsibility as business owners to make a difference.
The problems we encounter at work are not unique, to you they may be, but they're not in the overall scheme of things. I urge you to think about the above scriptures and reflect how the maker of this universe is actually the best person to turn to, to get your business (or you) out of the situation it or you is in and to help you live the best life you could possibly live.
For non-Christians on the outside looking in, we are called to be the Bible they read. I can't think of a better way to demonstrate this by the way they are managed in the workplace and how we handle ourselves in difficult situations.
I am living proof of how God keeps working and doing amazing things, both in my life and those around me.
So have faith, stick at it and may God bless you in everything you do.
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