“Does God care about our business?” is the question that many Christian businessmen and women ask themselves. We read scripture that we cannot worship God AND money. We hear our pastors preach weekly about helping the poor, volunteering in our churches, and tithing. We know God cares about our relationships because He spells that out with “love thy neighbor as thy self”. He wants us to love Him. All of this is very clear in the bible. But what about our business?
Actually, there is much wisdom in the bible about our work, but the one scripture that I always think about when I am wondering what God would think is Proverbs 3:5-7
Trust in the Lord with all of your Heart
And lean not on your own understanding
In all of your ways acknowledge Him
And He will make your paths straight.
Total Dependence on God for Business Success
The first message I get from these verses is that I need to be completely dependent on God for everything in my life. He doesn’t say to trust the Lord with our personal lives but not business or trust Him with our relationships but not our career. He wants us to be completely dependent on Him in “all of our ways”. But what does that look like?
Prayer: I believe it starts with prayer. I try to invite God to be a part of my day every day. I pray again before I see my clients. At most meetings I pray with my clients.
I have never been one to sit and twiddle my thumbs just waiting for God to drop everything I want and need in my lap, but I believe if we invite Him into our work, just like in the rest of our lives, we begin to commit to following His ways in all that we do.
Bible: Seek and you shall find. Matthew 7:7 It is all in His Word. Here are a couple of verses that exemplify Christian Business Ethics:
Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37 [Ouch! We could stay on this one for days!]
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrew 12:11
We need to be leaders and show that we are true to our word. We need to provide structure and discipline to our staff so that they can grow and develop. This is just a drop in the well of biblical wisdom that scripture holds!
Control: I came to the conclusion during the past decade that “control” is an illusion. Somewhere in our subconscious or in our ego, we believe that we can control the outcomes of our life. When things are hectic or spinning out of control we try to lean in and grab hold of the situation. Is being in control ourselves showing full and complete dependence on God? Nope, I don’t think so. I have to slow down and sometimes even stop to recognize the signs that I am beginning to go into CONTROL MODE. But then how do we give up control to God? I don’t have the perfect answer, but it begins back with prayer and seeking His wisdom through His word. Many times we do that but still go into overdrive with action steps. We just start doing. The key to knowing if I have given up most of the control to the Lord is the state of my peace. If I am worrying day and night then I probably am not trusting God to make my paths straight. [Check out Matthew 6:26 for more on how we waste our time and health on worrying. It has been such an issue for me I had to lean into it in this article I wrote Do Not Worry!]
Let’s be honest. It is hard to give up control of our business. It is our baby. We created it. But we have to remember that our vision itself was a gift from God. Everything we have is His. And if we are not bringing God into the picture by praying and seeking His wisdom…If we are not willing to give up control to the God of the Universe….we are not really trusting in the Lord with all of our hearts.
We have to get past this first step in order to reach the fruit of His straight path. I don’t think we will be perfect. Are we ever? But God knows our heart and knows when we earnestly try. Think about this step for a couple of days. Being one of my favorite verses, this is getting long. I will follow up with Part II tomorrow as we journey to His straight path!