MEMORY VERSE: “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” – 2 Timothy 2:19
BIBLE PASSAGE: Psalms 37:3-9 (KJV)
LESSON INTRODUCTION: While there are many paths to success, not all of them are ethical or recommended for a Christian business owner because the way you define success is probably different from the way a non-believer defines it. To build a successful business, you must know the biblical principles for business success so that you can use them to achieve your business goals to the glory of God.
- BIBLICAL BUSINESS PRINCIPLES
- CAUTIONS FOR CHRISTIAN BUSINESS OWNERS
1. BIBLICAL BUSINESS PRINCIPLES
Principle No.1: God owns it all. As a business owner, it is easy to think you are the boss and everything you own belongs to you. Knowing God owns it all, you will strive to do everything for His glory and shun business practices and ethics that are not pleasing to God (Hag.2:8; Ps.50:10; Deut.8:18). See your business as a means to further the gospel and the kingdom of God. Use it as a platform to witness to others.
Principle No.2: Be a Value-Giver: We should create great products and services that we would gladly purchase ourselves (Exo.28:6; Exo.31:4; Rom.12:11). Being excellent at what we do is a fantastic way to honour God and to love our neighbours. Do unto others as you want them to do to you (Matt.7:12).
Principle No.3: Take action and work hard. Do not just talk about starting a business or changing your current marketing strategy – take action (Prov.12:24; Prov.22:29). Also, do not just complain about something when it is not working well. Go and fix it. If you are trying to reach financial independence through starting a business, working hard will help propel you towards that (Prov.10:4,14).
Principle No.4: Wisdom. You need wisdom to make the right decisions for your business, so you can avoid making irreversible or costly mistakes (James 1:5). Do not be afraid to pray for wisdom or be too proud to seek God’s direction for your business (Prov.4:7; Ps.37:23).
Principle No.5: Humility. To relate well with people especially clients or customers, you must remain humble and approachable (Prov.11:2, James 4:6).
Principle No.6: The right business skills. To grow your business, you have to be skilful (2 Chron.2:8). Thankfully, it is possible to learn new skills, so there is no reason not to acquire the skills required.
Principle No.7: The right tools and resources. For example, are there tools that can increase your productivity? Do you need a website to reach more people? Do you need to invest in some business technology? These are the types of questions you should ask yourself from time to time if you want to keep growing your business (Prov.18:15).
Principle No.8: Make money honestly. Do not cheat, lie to, or scam people out of their money. Build up your business little by little (Prov.13:11). Do not be greedy of gain.
Principle No.9: Be bold and get ready to meet with people of like passion. You will need to relate with people in similar business and from other walks of life, various societal status/class, etc. You should be articulate in your presentations and negotiations (Prov.28:1; Eccl.8:1; 2Tim.1:7).
2. CAUTIONS FOR CHRISTIAN BUSINESS OWNERS
Business ownership can become detrimental to one’s spiritual life if it becomes an idol or if the business owner is serving Mammon rather than God (Lk.12:16-21; Lk.16:13). Some business owners become so immersed in work that they neglect family, friends, their health, and the Lord. When anything takes our total focus for an extended period of time, it can shift our lives out of balance (1Tim.6:10). So Christian business owners must work to keep priorities straight and remember that a business with God’s blessing will fare better than one without it (Prov.10:22; 1Cor.14:40). The Lord will not tolerate our idols, so a business owner must work to keep success from becoming more important than anything else (Ex.20:4).
When a business owner’s motive is selfish or sin-based, the business will not enjoy God’s blessings and may become a hindrance to God’s plan for the owner’s life (Jer.18:9-10).
CONCLUSION: Christians need to take the lead and build the next Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.