I had a pastor once who said often, “People have an infinite capacity for self-deception.” I have often thought of this phrase in many different settings and even applied it to myself at times.
I purposefully study and meditate on how I can apply the bible to my business. I believe fervently that God cares about my little Baton Rouge business just as He cares about all of the other aspects of my life. I share that as part of the mission of my business coaching. As Christian business men and women we have extra advantage with the King of the Universe watching over us.
Most of my clients are pretty knowledgeable about God’s word and at times will argue gently that the scripture I am referencing has a different meaning. Not that I am taking it out of context, only that the scripture was talking about church life or marriage or some other specific noun.
The Holy Spirit Points Out Different Things to Different People
This bugs me because as I read and study I feel that the Holy Spirit points out different things to different people. That God personalizes His message to me. However, I wasn’t sure how credible it would sound if I said that maybe to you God was talking about marriage here, but to me he was discussing business partnerships.
Referencing scripture is hard because we are sharing with others what the Holy Spirit is showing us personally in God’s Word. I already have the capacity for self-deception thing going for me. And I am well aware that at times we have all probably cherry picked scripture to support our decisions or actions. In sharing scripture I feel vulnerable to these weaknesses inherent in me.
But the idea that scripture can be just as helpful in my business life as any other part of my life stays strong.
Then all of the jumbled thoughts in my crowded mind sort of clicked into place.
If I step back and look at the bible as a whole, I find that scripture:
helps me know who God is and to better understand His nature
shows me who man is in our natural pursuit
guides us on who we can be in Christ.
If we follow Jesus’ example, if we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, we can become who God created us to be. Or at least get closer.
The Bible gives me a God view and I need to apply my entire panoramic view to the separate compartments of my life.
How Does This Relate to our Business?
If God’s principles show us how to have better relationships; how we can be Godlier people; how His order of things produces a more “right” life; then why wouldn’t we just apply it to every aspect of life that we can?
If God says to be equally yoked in our marriages, why wouldn’t I want to be equally yoked in my partnerships?
If God tells me that I need to put His Word in my heart in order to “build my house on rock”, then having His Word in my heart would also mean applying it in my business.
24“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27
I talked to a client about these verses in Matthew 7:24-27 and said that we should have an underlying foundation in our business based on our Christian values. He said to me that these verses didn’t speak to him about management.
I get that in these particular verses Jesus is saying that practicing obedience becomes the solid foundation to weather the storms of life. But, to me, practicing obedience to Jesus words in business management is included. This seems wise to me. The principle seems sound that if I build my business on Christian values rather than secular principles my business will have a stronger foundation.
From God View to God Mindset
I am not trying to use scripture to manipulate or coerce anyone. I am trying to get into a God mindset for my life. I am trying to absorb God’s wisdom so that as I pursue life I approach people, situations, struggles and opportunities with a God view.
It is hard in practice to follow Jesus well. It is impossible, at least for me, to try to compartmentalize my God view. Part of my personality is to look at the big picture and then look at the details or facts.
What I attempt to do is to look at how God wants us to live (the big picture) and apply it to every facet of life (the details).
The bible gives us many examples of how God would apply His wisdom but then we need to extrapolate life application of our God view to our own life. Yes, we have an infinite capacity for self-deception, however, if we study God’s Word and pray earnestly for the Holy Spirit to guide us and provide us with discernment, ultimately we will live a Godlier existence in all aspects of life, including our business!
Image Credit: Katie Miley (she took this picture for me this morning – photography on demand!)