“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of His great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in Him and receive eternal life.” – 1 Timothy 1:15-16
God is good at business. Reading this scripture today I finished reading it thinking that God was in a losing business. How can God be considered good at business if His investment is in the lost and broken? I was reading an article today from inc.com by Drew Hendricks called 5 business “Rules” from Billionaires (Click Here), and that opinion changed. Let me explain:
- Davis Rubenstein says that his rule is to, “Persist – don’t take no for an answer. If you’re happy to sit at your desk and not take any risk, you’ll be sitting at your desk for the next 20 years.” God did not sit back and watch the world burn. Instead, He was active through the work of the Holy Spirit and most certainly in the intervention of Christ that allowed us to experience salvation and a relationship with Him.
- Carl Ichan’s rule is, “To have enough capital at the end of the day.” It is true that without capital business is going nowhere. There is not any stability or safety net. Obtaining capital is the most frustrating part for a business owner. It is frustrating because it means that owners must ask for money and be willing to accept it. The capital of God’s kingdom is not money, it is people. The currency of heaven is not the dollar it is the soul. Even when times were slim, such as in Noah’s day, God made every effort to bring people into relationship with Him. God has commissioned us to build capital in the kingdom as well. The Great Commission is His promise to us that He will support us as we bring people into the kingdom and make kingdom capital.
- Mark Cuban says, “If you really want to be successful at something, you’ll find that you put the time in. You won’t ask somebody if it’s a good idea, you’ll go figure out if it’s a good idea.” Have you ever noticed that doctor’s practice medicine, musicians practice their instruments, and students learn? All of these activities produce different results, but in the end, they are all trial and error. A doctor practices their skills so that they can become better physicians so that they can help people live better lives. A musician rehearses their instrument so that that they can produce creative art to entertain and inspire. A student learns so they can practice what they have learned in the world of work. All of this practice takes time and energy. These are investments that are designed to produce a return that benefits not only the person practicing them but also those that are partaking in what is being created. Discipleship is like this, we must spend the time to learn and practice what is taught so that we can produce more disciples.
- William O’Neil says, “When you make a mistake in the stock market, the only sound thing to do is correct it. Pride and ego never pay off; neither does vacillation when losses start to show up.” Pride and ego are one of the great killers of inspiration, encouragement, and I would argue, miracles in our time. Pride and ego cause us to be disobedient to what God is commanding us to do. Vacillation (going back and forth) creates confusion and keeps us from determining to do the things that God has called us to. When we give into ego, pride, and vacillation, the ones who suffer are the people who would benefit from our gifts. Do not hold back your gifts because when you do, you deprive everyone of who God is making you out to be.
- Finally, John Neff says, “Conventional wisdom and preconceived notions are stumbling blocks as well as signs of opportunity.” In the church, we can often get wrapped up in our traditions, but we need to be cautious about traditions and treat them with respect. We need to be careful not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Our traditions exist for a reason. Some traditions need to die for certain, but many need to be reformed or repurposed for the Kingdom. At a personal level maybe there is something that we have always done that needs to be reformed and changed. If there is something we have done for a long time then we could be considered an expert in it. God can use what we know and where we are for His glory if we are willing to allow His Spirit to transform us.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but it does inspire us to think deeper about what God is doing. He is investing in His Kingdom. If, however, we can realize that God is good at business and that His investment into us is not Him taking a loss, then we may quickly realize that we have an important role in kingdom development.