By Rick Boxx
In my career, I have started businesses without God, and I have started some with God. That is, in some cases I determined what kind of business to start and handled all the details on my own, without any consultation with God. For others, I took the time to pray, seeking God’s wisdom and direction, along with His leading for handling all the details that are so essential for launching a new business and getting it on the path to success.
The difference, I discovered, is like trying to run a race with heavy winds and storms in your face versus running the race with the wind at your back. In other words, you can attempt to do it the hard way or do it the (comparatively) easy way. Starting a new enterprise is never simple, but tapping into God’s infinite wisdom, guidance and provision definitely helps in overcoming the inevitable obstacles.
When contemplating starting a business, it is critical that we remember one important principle: God owns it all. As 1 Chronicles 29:11 informs us, “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.”
Meditate on that for a few moments. Another verse from the Scriptures, Psalm 24:1, declares, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Both of these passages mean God is in charge. He has control over all the universe, big and small, and that includes our businesses. Trying to build something against God’s wishes or contrary to His plan is an exercise in foolishness.
We can look to many examples of entrepreneurs and innovative business leaders who wisely chose to commit their businesses to God from the start. One was the restaurant chain, Chick-fil-A, founded by Truett Cathy, who began with a single restaurant and saw his company grow to thousands of stores across the United States. He not only dedicated the business to the Lord but also made the unusual decision to close the restaurants every Sunday, no exceptions.
Prior to his death, Cathy said about his enterprise, “You don’t have to be a Christian to work at Chick-fil-A, but we ask you to base your business on biblical principles because they work. I’d be resentful if shareholders who don’t know the business tried to tell me what to do.”
One day, speaking to a large crowd, Jesus Christ told them, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish it’” (Luke 14:28-30).
Ultimately, Jesus was talking about the cost of being His follower: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). However, this is a principle that applies to starting a business – we need to choose the correct foundation on which to build.
Before launching a new business, we should take time to pray and seek God’s will. If we are working with and on God’s plan, He will affirm our work. If you have already started an enterprise without including the Lord in the equation, you should reconsider, sooner rather than later.
Copyright 2024, Unconventional Business Network. Adapted with permission from “UBN Integrity Moments”, a commentary on faith at work issues. UBN is a faith at work ministry serving the international small business community.
- Have you ever tried to create a new business? If so, describe the process you followed by getting it started.
- Mr. Boxx compares his experiences of starting businesses without God and those he started by involving God, His wisdom, principles, and provision. What is your reaction to that kind of approach? Does it seem simply idealistic to you, or can you see practical benefits of committing a business to the Lord from the onset?
- What if you are employed by a business or organization, and you do not have influence in determining whether it is dedicated to God. How could you still determine to work with God as you carry out your assignments and responsibilities?
- A verse from the Bible declares, “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9). Do you believe that? Explain what you understand this passage to be saying.
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Proverbs 16:7; 24:27,30-34; Matthew 6:24,33; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:17, 23-24
During the coming week, find some time to reassess your perspective on your work. Who are you working for – is it yourself or are you ultimately seeking to work for God and trusting Him to guide you in your decisions and your actions.
Sometimes good intentions are not enough. Having people to encourage you in your desire to follow Jesus Christ where you work can be very helpful. If you are in a CBMC group, you can find this kind of support. If you aren’t, pray and ask God to guide you to fellow believers who can provide needed assistance.