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God Uses Business To Bring You Closer To Him

It was 2010, and the financial crises which exploded in 2008 was, at last, reaching my business.  My clients, B2B sales organizations, were shrinking, and a few were going out of business.  Investing in developing their sales force – the heart of my business — was nowhere on their agenda.

Whereas we had done fully-subscribed sales seminars around the country for ten years previously, now we canceled 9 of 10 seminars for lack of registrations.  Individual speaking engagements had disappeared, and sales of books and videos had shrunk to next to nothing.  Our corporate income declined by 80%.

On the day that I canceled the last three seminars for lack of registrations, I realized that we had nothing booked for the future.  I was going to have to lay off most of my staff. I closed the door to my office and burst into tears.  The business that had consumed most of my time and energy for 20 years was disappearing.  It was like a big part of me had withered away and was being amputated.

“Lord,” I cried, “what do you want from me?”

Over the next few years, the Lord showed me the answer to that question. Among other things, He wanted me to grow closer to Him and more mature in my spirituality.  And I have. Of course, our understanding of events is always clearer in retrospect. As I looked back on that experience, one of the lessons is this:  God uses our businesses as devices to nudge us closer to Him and to build the attitudes and practices that enable our next step up the spiritual growth continuum.

In my case, I grew more humble and more aware of my dependence on Him.  My prayer life multiplied, my awareness of grace and God’s involvement in my life expanded dramatically, my empathy for others increased, and I felt directed to spend more of my time and talents into helping other Christian business people grow Biblical businesses. In the years since, as I have interacted with hundreds of Christian business people, I’ve come to understand the power in a business to shape the owners of that business and to corral them into a closer relationship with God.

They are not just praying for their personal incomes, but for the economic impact on hundreds of other stakeholders.

The downturns and disappointments bring us to our knees in passionate intercession for God’s intervention.  Every Christian business person I know feels a tremendous responsibility for the folks who make their living from the business.  Not just employees, but vendors, lenders, and customers all get some value from their relationship with the business, and the owners take that responsibility very seriously.  They are not just praying for their personal incomes, but for the economic impact on hundreds of other stakeholders. On the other hand, the economic blessing that comes with profits and success allows us to bless others – whether they be additional employees in a growing business, shareholders reaping the reward for their risks, or other good people shepherding organizations and works that reach needs beyond the scope of our businesses.  “What to do with the profits” is a decision that often requires just as much prayer and spiritual guidance.

In either case, the ebbs and flows of shepherding a business nudge us to a closer relationship with the Lord, force us to learn new skills, press new attitudes and understandings into us, and grow us into a higher level of spiritual maturity.

This is, of course, how God intended it.  The relationship between an owner and his economic household is a well-established Biblical pattern. God blesses or curses the entire household – family, employees, slaves, servants – based on the actions of the head. Abraham was rewarded for his growing faith by an increasing amount of personal wealth and a greater role in God’s plan.  The two servants in the parable of the bags of gold were rewarded for their wise investments with a larger responsibility and a closer relationship with the master – just like Abraham. On the other hand, the servant who didn’t invest wisely was cast out of the master’s household.

And that makes a Christian-owned business one of God’s most effective tools for developing His people.

Dave Kahlehttp://www.davekahle.com/wordpressblogs/dave-kahle/
YOUR business can be much more than just a money-making enterprise. Helping you achieve that potential is Dave Kahle’s passion. He has been helping business grow for 30 years. The author of The Good Book on Business, he’s written 12 other books, which have been published in eight languages and distributed around the world, and has presented in 47 states and 11 countries. He has personally and contractually worked with over 459 companies, and touched thousands of others through his seminars, speaking engagements, and webinars. You’ll find him challenging your paradigms and prompting you to think more deeply.

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