With this holiday season, let us reflect on and give thanks to our Lord for all He has done in our businesses. Although things may not always work out the way we thought, we ultimately know and believe He is leading and guiding us towards the plans He has for us. (Jeremiah 29:11)
When you think about your business, it likely revolves around and is driven by one central component: Money. Ultimately this is what the world we live in measures as success. Money is what people work for, returns your business investment, what your vendors seek, and what your customers use to access your goods and services. There is no way around this, nor should we over-spiritualize it. However, what you are driving towards and continually reflecting on will determine your eternal impact. What you are making your life and business ultimately about, and what you are doing with this money may be the most important factor. This is what I will call the Eternal Economics Indicator.
Managing the Money Side
As you reflect on the money side of your business, consider how you operate and evaluate its use and impact. This will give you personal insights and also show others where you are placing priorities. This would include both your personal life and business. In this world, everything ties back to money in some way, shape, or form.
Managing the economic side of your businesses will require wise and shrewd decision-making, as well as faith as we follow the Lord’s guidance. Consider all the things that come at you each day. To make wise decisions, you need to almost have the instincts of the secret service as they protect the president of the United States. These are natural instincts and natural intuition to detect possible danger and react to it. The secret service number one objective is protecting the leader of our country. Their eyes and ears are continually perked and on full alert for any danger that may be lurking. In doing so, they use their instincts to react and thwart any evil plans that may be present.
Likewise, let us keep our eyes and ears open to things happening within our businesses related to finances that could sidetrack or thwart the plans God has in store. This includes operating our business in a period of inflation with a possible recession looming. These concepts dovetail with the overarching theme of all my posts, our role of being a steward of the businesses given to us by God.
What Is In Our Future
Of course, none of us know what the future holds, which is clearly spelled out for us in James 4: 13-17. As this passage describes, we are to have the humble attitude of ‘if the Lord wills’, things will happen. In addition to seeking, aligning and praying for a business decision according to the Word of God, consider where we see the hand of God moving. As we are seeking first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33), consider whether you see things transpiring that may not be random. Especially if multiple things occur that cause the same thought in your mind, that God appears to be moving and working, guiding you towards a decision. This decision will likely take some steps of faith as most things in business are not a sure thing. However, if our decisions are not violating scripture and when we can point back to things occurring that appear to be the fingerprints of God, it helps us take those steps of faith.
As business owners, we can be a bit blinded by our own ambitions at times. We see what the future could hold for our ideas and get a certain amount of adrenaline from the challenge and the potential of seeing them move forward. Looking for God’s fingerprints as we talk forward and seeking feedback and input from wise counsel are a couple of ways we can be good stewards of our business ideas.
In practical terms, we should be shrewd and good stewards of each decision we make in our business. This includes vetting out the major parts of what will determine the success or failure of the move we are about to invest in. This would include both time, labor, and ultimately likely result in a financial commitment.
As Christian business leaders, we have a powerful tool in our decision-making toolbox and that is prayer. Prayer is seeking out wisdom from our Father in Heaven, for things we are not sure of or do not know. Prayer allows us to seek our Father in Heaven for wisdom in making the decisions we are considering. As expressed in Jeremiah 33:3, we are invited to call out to our boss, our Father in Heaven. He promises to answer us and tell us great and mighty things that may be hidden and which we do not know, understand or cannot recognize or perceive. We sometimes use prayer as a last resort or step, but I encourage you to start out your decision making process with prayer.
Then assess and critically think through any market conditions and trends that may be impacting the success. This includes anything going on in the world, such as the pandemic we all just went through. Do you have the right people on your internal and external teams to guide you in this assessment? Case in point, currently, we are in a period of inflation, the highest many of us have seen in our lifetime. Some economists are predicting this will land us in a recession in the next twelve months. How do we balance these trends with what God has called us to accomplish for Eternity? Certainly think through each major point of economic impact, but do not overlook another key component of this decision, which is to look for where He is leading us, and look for His fingerprints. This is a balance of facts and faith.
As a next step, I encourage you to have the courage as a leader to invite others whom you know tend to think differently than you weigh in on a decision. We are all hard-wired at birth and have different personalities, passions, experiences, talents, and things that drive us. When we match up the right mix of people, driven and wired in various and sometimes competing ways, we can gain the dialogue necessary to achieve the goals and strategies we are striving towards.
Finally, depending on the level of investment, you could also vet out the opportunity with other trusted leaders in a peer advisory group. They can help you think objectively and critically about the decision you are about to make, and lend insights and experiences you may have not considered. Once everything is thought through and as much as you can be validated, make your decisions and move forward in confidence, not in as much yourself, but in what the Lord is calling you to accomplish for His Kingdom.
If you would like to go deeper on these subjects and ways to bring Glory to the Father, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.we-r-stewards.com