God uses business to bring you closer to Him. He surely did with me. It was 2010, and the financial crises which exploded in 2008, at last, reached my business. My clients, B2B sales organizations, were shrinking. A few were even going out of business. Investing in developing sales forces – the heart of my business — was nowhere on their agenda. Our sales seminars had been booked solid around the country for the last ten years, but now we had to cancel 9 of 10 due to low attendance. Individual speaking engagements had disappeared, and the sale of books and videos had shrunk to next to nothing. Consequently, our corporate income declined by 80%. I canceled the last three seminars we had planned, for lack of registrations. I realized that we had nothing booked for the future. As a result, I was going to have to lay off most of my staff.
Bringing Me Closer To Him
I closed the door to my office and burst into tears. The business that had consumed most of my time and energy for 20 years disappeared. A big part of me had withered away. “Lord,” I cried, “what do you want from me?” Over the next few years, the Lord showed me the answers to that question. Among other things, He wanted me closer to Him. And I indeed, I am.
Hindsight is 20/20 they say. As I looked back on that experience, I can clearly see that God uses business as a way to bring us closer to Him. He uses them to shape our attitudes. He uses them to teach us daily practices that bring us closer to him. God uses business to mold our attitudes. He wants to see us grow in every area.
God Uses Business to Teach Humility
As a result, I grew more humble. My dependence on Him increased. My prayer life multiplied, my awareness of grace and God’s involvement in my life expanded dramatically. I felt more empathy for others, and I knew I wanted to spend more of my time and talent helping other Christian business people grow Biblical businesses. God used business, my business to do all of this.
In the years since, as I have interacted with hundreds of Christian business people. I’ve also come to understand that there is a real power in a business. It can shape the owners of that business and draw them into a closer relationship with God. He used my business to show me this. He will use yours too.
God uses business to give you responsibility for the folks who make their living from the business. Not just employees, but vendors, lenders, and customers who all receive value from their relationship with the business. I pray about all of this. And I’m not just praying for their personal incomes, but for the economic impact on hundreds of others.
God Uses Business to Bring Blessings
God uses business to bring blessings that come with profits and success. It allows us to bless others – whether they be additional employees in a growing business, shareholders reaping the reward for their risks, or other good people shepherding organizations and works that reach needs beyond the scope of our businesses. What we do with profits are decisions that often requires just as much prayer and spiritual guidance.
In any case, the ebbs and flows of shepherding a business bring us to a closer relationship with the Lord. We have to learn new skills. We have new attitudes and understandings pressed into us, and we grow together. it leads us to a higher level of spiritual maturity. God uses business to do all these things and more.
This Is, of Course, How God Intended It
The relationship between an owner and his economic household is a well-established Biblical pattern. God uses business to bless or curse the entire household – family, employees, slaves, servants – based on the actions of the head. Abraham was rewarded for his growing faith by an increasing amount of personal wealth and greater role in God’s plan. The two servants in the parable of the bags of gold were rewarded for their wise investments with a larger responsibility and a closer relationship with the master – just like Abraham. On the other hand, the servant who didn’t invest wisely was cast out of the master’s household.
And that makes a Christian-owned business one of God’s most effective tools for developing His people.