Business Health by Connecting to the Vine

Feb 20, 2012, Written by Sue Miley

4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4

As small business owners these verses should bring tears to our eyes.  We are not doing this alone.  It is not all up to me.  Sadly, many Christians feel like God’s Word does not apply to our work.

Jesus says to remain in Him.  It doesn’t exclude the hours we are at work.

But what would this look like at work?

When I go to work do I really think “I can’t do this today without you Jesus”?  Or better yet, at the end of a fulfilling day, do I bow my head and pray thanks.  “I couldn’t have done any of this today without you Jesus!”

If I am honest with myself, because of course God already knows, I am inconsistent at best.  If I have a challenge ahead of me, by all means I am in prayer.  I am asking God to work through me.  Please send the Holy Spirit to guide me.

I am all about just being a branch.

When it is just an ordinary day though, not so much.

I heard a sermon recently where the pastor said that all we can do is to connect to the vine!  We can’t try to bear fruit like a goose laying an egg.  We can’t go do all the right and Godly things in business and make it happen.  The action to take is to connect to Jesus.  We need Him for life and for growth.

You mean I can focus my attention on Jesus, pray, meditate and read the bible and my business will bloom?

Okay, I don’t think it is that simple.

We still have to do our part.

But, remember when we were kids.  Remember how much we depended on our parents and a lot of time other adults to make sure we were going to be okay.

I think it is more like that.

If I finally take the training wheels off of my bike, it’ll be okay because my Dad is running beside me and will catch me if I fall.  And if I do something stupid and he is too far away to catch me, I know he will be there quickly to pick me up and take care of my cuts and bruises.

In my business, as well as the rest of life, I recommitted to focusing on Jesus first!  Here is what that looks like to me.

Meditate on John 15:1-17.

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Ask for His help and guidance each day before I start the day.

By praying and asking for help I remember it isn’t about me!  I remember that everything I have and am is from God.  I am humbled.  I am dependent.  Which just like most God things makes me stronger.

In our world, when we think of dependence and humility, we think of weakness.  So we try to do it by ourselves.  But is that working for you?

Focus on Loving God and Loving Others

I know you are waiting for Kumbaya to start playing through the speakers.  Seriously though.  Jesus says to love others as He has loved us.  If I act and do in my business the way that is loving towards others I believe that is going to create passionate team members, loyal customers, and respectful vendors.

Review the day with God and give thanks.

This gets easier and easier.  Even if the day’s circumstance is difficult, I am so thankful that I handled situations with God’s grace.  I praise Him for being with me and helping to carry the burden.  I am thankful that my decisions were made in faith, not fear and mistrust.  And many times it is more than this.  The fruit of my efforts is more than it was when it was all in my own strength.  The blessing to others is also realized.

And just like in other things, the more I connect with Jesus, the more top of mind (and heart) he is to me all day long.  It is like fertilizer for the branch.  I feel healthier and stronger each day!

How about you?  Do you bring Jesus into your work life as well as the rest of life?  Are you dependent on Him in your business?  How do you connect to the vine?

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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