Success is no longer defined by God’s standards. We live in a world where God and the idea of Faith are diminishing. The concept of “world peace” is, however, approaching faster than ever. You may think that such would be a matter of Christian Faith overtaking the World, but it isn’t. Society as a whole continues to focus on equilibrium by bringing any acceptance speech to the forefront. Love conquers all.
Let’s not get my stance confused though. Yes, I believe in loving everyone and love really does conquer all. I absolutely love people. All people. I also know that sin is, in fact, sin. I despise sin. Mostly because it continues to corrupt society and it in no way honors our Creator. Sin is the opposite of love. I’m not sure why so many people get that mixed up.
Here is the thing… we are called, as Christians, to be a vessel for God’s use. We have a great purpose for living. We are called to be a light in a dark world. We are to love others and build relationships. We are to honor God and be holy. Serve others. Plant seeds. Walk in righteousness.
Yet, we leave all of that at the door when we walk into the workplace.
I’m not sure why it is so difficult for us (myself included) to keep God at the forefront of our minds between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Maybe this is because our company and our careers must operate and succeed in a ungodly society.
I wrote an article on how I try to set my perspective right each day.
I do think it is easy for us to get caught up in the wrong definition of success when it comes to our careers and businesses. Culture, society, celebrities, and Google tell us what success is. They say it is earning large salaries, having a prestigious title, power, and positive work-life balance. Living the American Dream.
All of those things are wonderful, but is that success? Honestly?
In my opinion, God defines true success. Yes, EVEN in your career and in your business. I stumbled across this article during my research last week. I LOVE how the writer explains success:
“Biblical success is faithfully using all gifts, talents, and opportunities God has given us for the furtherance of his kingdom here on earth.”
That is absolutely what success is!!! I couldn’t have worded it better myself. So, how do we achieve this? Lets turn to the book of Joshua:
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left,that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:6-9
God is referring to the ten commandments in this passage (click the link or reference Exodus 20). So, in order to be successful and prosperous… you must not only work hard, but also follow God’s simple law.
It is clear in God’s communication to Joshua that He desires for His people to be successful. In fact, I think we see here in this passage that it was even God’s idea for his people to be successful at entering the promise land. In scripture after scripture we learn that God wants us to be fruitful, productive, effective, blessed, and prosperous.
Then there is Jesus.
Jesus, by our measures, was unsuccessful. He had little material possession and I’m pretty sure he was homeless. But Jesus was, in God’s view, perfect… thus the MOST successful at being human. Jesus was sinless. Jesus was the only one who could uphold God’s ten commandments.
We all know that being perfect is impossible for our sinful nature. Does that mean that you give-up on success? No.
It means that you aim to follow the ten commandments in all that you do (your business included). When you fail, remember that God graced you with Jesus… a perfect son who took the blame for your sin so that you could have a direct connection with a perfect and holy God.
If you are a Christian and a business owner, then you probably started your business with the idea that your company would be different than others. That your company would be more charitable and honorable. We all have good intentions, but where is the follow through? It is easy to lose sight and difficult to focus. I get it.
Here are some tips that will help you succeed while keeping God and Faith at the forefront of your business:
Follow Standard Business Ethics: Always be honest. Follow the law. Create and implement standards and policies for your company and then always abide by them. I’ve always been a black or white type of person. I love the color gray, but only on my walls; not in my business dealings. God gives us His list of standards (the commandments mentioned above) and in the same way, you should establish a list of ethical standards for your business. Most large corporations publish their own “Code of Business Ethics” and have their employees agree to it. I think small businesses should get on board with this. Set the standards in writing for yourself and for your employees.
Serve Everyone: Okay. Touchy political subject here. I do feel that business owners should have the right to do business with whom they please, BUT I also believe that it is our Christian duty to serve everyone. Everyone meaning even those that do not have my/your/our same values/views. That being said… we must be wise in our service… making sure that we do not fall into sin. Look at it from this perspective: If Jesus was the ONLY human-being without sin, then every person he associated with was in-fact sinful. And my dear, that means YOU are also sinful. Sometimes we need to be a little more like Jesus by showing grace and love towards others…even when their values do not line up with ours. Keep in mind that showing grace does not mean being open minded towards sin.[Tweet “Grow your heart, grow your business. -Amanda | The Caffeinated Woman”]
Operate with little to zero debt: Money is a blessing and a curse. It is the root of all evil, but it is also necessary to live. Sometimes, we do not have enough money to buy the things that we think we need. When that happens… pray about it. Don’t go into debt for it. Have faith and trust that God will continue to provide for all of your needs. Operating will little debt will ensure that your business will always be able to give and do for others.
LOVE Everyone: That includes your Customers. Vendors. and Employees. In my honest opinion, this is what will make your business the most successful. Building relationships is exactly what life is about. We should, as Christians and as entrepreneurs, go above and beyond with relationship-building. People do business with people they know, like, and trust. They can’t know you, like you, or trust you if you do not invest in the relationship.
Pray: Pray over your business, customers, vendors, and employees. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I mean this. Prayer is a key ingredient in running a successful business that honors God. I’ll warn you though… prayer requires humility. Because in prayer… you will want to ask for God’s help in all the chaos of running a business. Being an entrepreneur and a business owner is tough… probably one of the toughest things someone can do. But prayer will reduce your stress. God is always faithful to provide peace and comfort when we reach out to Him.
Matthew 6:33 tells us to “seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”