Business – April 2019
(By Lilian Schmid, reviewed by Mark Bilton and Bjorn Schmid)
“The most important virtue is humility, to have a servant’s heart, to listen to what people are saying, and to be empathetic to employees. I think that pride and arrogance are killers” Pat Robertson
All of us are involved in Business to some extent, either directly or indirectly. Without the trade (i.e. buying and selling) of goods/products and services, we would lack food, housing, transport, medical care, and everything else we require and desire to live life in the world. Similarly unless we are in a culture of total bartering for trade, we require a unit of exchange, a currency, money, to purchase and sell goods and services. Thus there are financial institutions and services dedicated to the production and management of finance.
Those who are ‘in Business’ are either responsible for the running of a Business organisation, be it a corner store or a local tradie (trades-person) or a multi-national corporation, or they are they employed by a Business organisation, i.e. responsible for their assigned tasks in the operation of the Business. All in Business are led by others and accountable to others regardless of their position.
Business Intelligence in the Eyes of God
The potential of business intelligence is to make informed decisions that produce the best outcomes. Mining and analysing market data and trends are common ways to obtain business intelligence, but will always be limited to the quality and currency of information and tools available (freely or purchased). God has given us the most comprehensive sources of business intelligence; himself as the Holy Spirit, and Scripture, and both are of the very highest standard and currency.
Do everything according to God’s will and wisdom. He is in everything you have and own. He is all in all, “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,” Ephesians 1:11
Improve decision making, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Increase operational efficiency, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
Identify market trends, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:45-46
Spot business problems that need to be addressed, “Do not defraud or rob your neighbour. Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.” Leviticus 19:13
Business Goals in the Eyes of God
Having clear, well-defined goals can:
Help your business grow:
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18
Achieve your objectives at work:
“Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” 1 Chronicles 4:10
Improve teamwork and collaboration skills:
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
In KJV: “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
Help everyone understand the business’ direction:
“He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver – by any sort of workman or skilled designer.” Exodus 35:35
Here are a few things to consider when setting your goals:
- Specific – be clear about what you want to achieve, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
- Measurable – make sure the goal can be measured, and you can recognise if you’ve achieved your goal, “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” Psalm 33:11
- Achievable – check that your goal is something you have the time, money and resources to meet, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
- Relevant – ensure your goal is relevant to the direction you want your business to head in, for example, increasing profit, employing more staff, increasing brand awareness, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6
- Timely – set a realistic deadline for completing the goal, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1
Business Ethics in the Eyes of God
Ethics is a personal choice and therefore how workplace ethics are governed depends upon the personal ethics of those who are in authority over that workplace and also those who work in that environment. Workplace ethics are an extension of (the) personal standards or lack of them (that is) inherent in the people who make up the workplace.
The Bible gives us several principles that can be applied to workplace ethics. “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2 The idea here is one of a position of responsibility and of submission to authority.
Understand that God called us all to work:
“The Lord God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden in order to have him work it and guard it.” Genesis 2:15
Work in such a way that glorifies God:
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
“And whatever you do, whether by speech or action, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
Work so that you can share with those who need it:
“The thief must no longer steal but must work hard and do what is good with his own hands, so that he might earn something to give to the needy.” Ephesians 4:28
Be faithful in your work so that you can earn respect from others:
“Also, make it your goal to live quietly, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you,
so that you may win the respect of outsiders, and have need of nothing.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
Do not be lazy or careless:
“Go to the ant, you lazy man! Observe its ways and become wise.” Proverbs 6:6-11
Provide for yourself and your family:
“If anyone does not take care of his own relatives, especially his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Titus 3:14
“Our own people should also learn to make good deeds a priority when urgent needs arise, so they won’t be unproductive.” 1 Timothy 5:8
Business Success in the Eyes of God
True business success comes from obedience to God’s words:
“Behold, I am doing something new! It’s already happening; don’t you recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land.” Isaiah 43:19
Honouring God in your Business:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Applying Godly Principles:
“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;” Proverbs 3:13
Achieving God’s goals in your business:
“God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Succeeding according to God’s will and purposes:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Applying what you learned from biblical Ethics into achieving your goals:
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.” Colossians 3:1-6
Productivity with Excellency:
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” Colossians 3:23
Support the work of the kingdom materially and financially:
“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you,
you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.” Deuteronomy 15:7-8
Business Strategy in the Eyes of God
Build a Team:
A Christian business – meaning, a “Christ-led business” with a “team” of unified, loyal, motivated, skilled, released and valued team members “To equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ”. Ephesians 4:12
Lead by Example:
The foundational principle of building your team; “helping others become successful!”. This principle should be a key component of any organisation’s culture. If the owner/CEO honours this principle and lifts up the standard of this principle, then his team members will also hold themselves to that standard encouraged and influenced by their leader “Join one another in following my example, brothers, and carefully observe those who live according to the pattern we set for you. For as I have often told you before, and now declare even with tears: Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.” Philippians 3:17
Lead with Love:
This is a fundamental quality that any owner/CEO holds to treat his team with Christ’s love. Show them the way and they will follow. “Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers” Proverbs 11:14
Carefully Elect Team Members:
Building a Christian business is like putting a puzzle together. Putting the puzzle together involves carefully selecting team members and carefully placing them in the right position. Discernment is very important by using your Charisms or spiritual gifts God will lead you to choose your team carefully, rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you when choosing the best candidates. Proverbs provides several gems in this regard, such as “Do not associate with a man given to anger or go with the hot tempered man — or you will learn his ways and find a snare for yourself” Proverbs 22:24-25.
Pray for Team Members:
pray for Integrity, Christian values, holiness, purity, which can reflect the person’s identity at home as well as at in the workplace. Prayer leads you and your team to commit yourselves to the pursuit of excellence and success, you then exalt the Word of God. God’s power to transform your lives and the lives of you and your team’s families, not only through your employees but with your customers as well. You are an ambassador of the Kingdom wherever you are. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” Colossians 3:22-24.
It is the Holy Spirit who intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.
Say your own prayers for:
- Your (fellow) employees and their families
- Your business
- Your profits
- Your revenues
- Your business location
- Your customers
- Your suppliers
- Your marriage
- Your business plans
- Your business projects
- Your business tasks
- Your finances
- Your Assets
- Your heritage
- Your deposits
- Your banks and accounts
- Every area in your business which needs breakthrough
Dealing with Issues in your Workplace in a Godly Manner
There are bible verses that help you overcome issues when you read your bible daily and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and strengthen you. Each day read a verse in this document 30 Day Bible Reflections for Business and pray to your Heavenly Father for His guidance, strength and intervention as necessary.
- Interpersonal conflict
- Communication problems
- Low motivation and job satisfaction
- Performance issues
- Poor Job fit
How to Pray
Seek the Lord and worship Him with all your heart and might, speak to Him – He is always listening to you.
- Worship the Lord your God – 1 Chronicles 16:23-31
- Make Declarations – Romans 10:13
- Devotion and Prayer – 1 Chronicles 4:10
- Receive Graces – 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
- Thanksgiving – Jeremiah 30:19
Starts in Your Soul
Verse: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 2
Lord, teach me how to prosper in my body and in my spirit this will enable me to be equipped to receive your blessings over me and my business.
Meditate on God’s Words
Verse: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8
Lord, guide me to constantly, keep my mind free from any ungodly thoughts. Lead me in your righteousness, show me what works best for me to stay in your Word and when/how to meditate on it.
Reflect on Every Biblical Word You Read
Verse: “Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.” Deuteronomy 29:9
Holy Spirit, rise up in me the courage and the confidence to declare God’s glory a work and to be a witness to the gospel of peace, bring holiness in my workplace so that everyone can see your glory.
Ask God’s Blessing
Verse: “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you. And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you.” Deuteronomy 28:1,8,11
Lord, keep me sober and make my paths straight. Correct me if I wonder off. Holy Spirit, bring to my remembrance all things you?ve already taught me. Help me to control my emotions and be resilient in my work environment according to your wisdom. Amen
Put God’s Word into Action
Verse: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8
Lord, grant me everything I need to continue your good works as You direct me. Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
Verse: “Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favour my righteous cause; And let them say continually, ?Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” Psalm 35:27
Lord, how I rejoice in your presence, the joy of your peace make me ready to preach the gospel and feel happy to share it with others. Give me always your joy to rejoice with you and others. Amen
Monday Matters: Find God In Your Workplace
Mark Bilton, Called to Business has a 30 day reading plan on the YouVersion App. (Monday Matters) available at https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1631-monday-matters-finding-god-in-your-workplace or search ‘Mark Bilton’ on the App. Over 20,000 people have completed this plan.