Unsatisfied with Christian Business Books
Step into the world of Christian business, where my passion and my dilemma collide. With an MBA from a secular university, I’ve gained invaluable tools to fulfill God’s calling on my life. However, along the way, I’ve grappled with teachings that seemed at odds with my Christian upbringing, leaving me with a longing to explore the realm of Christian business books. Yet, time and time again, I find myself unsatisfied with what they have to offer.
Recently, I received a Christian business book for review. Like its predecessors, this book attempted to align current business practices with Scripture verses. While these books often contain solid business principles, they lack the essence of true Christian wisdom beyond a superficial mention of prayer. Do they genuinely embody Christian values or have they merely found a market to tap into?
Trusting in Ourselves or Trusting in God: A Divine Perspective on Success
In God’s kingdom, success takes on a different meaning. He chooses the seemingly foolish to confound the wise. The strategies and wisdom we acquire can lead us to place our trust in ourselves, but God desires us to place our trust in Him. The book I recently read delved into the pitfalls of King Saul’s life. Saul had a prophet who delivered the word of the Lord to him, but he struggled to fully follow it. While the book explored the red flags in Saul’s journey, it overlooked the fundamental truth that God wanted Saul to listen and obey. Has God’s plan for us shifted away from this model of dependency on Him?
For those of us who, like me, have endeavored to lead our business lives in this manner, we know how challenging it can be. There’s a constant temptation to forge ahead of God when life’s circumstances seem to pressure us into making decisions, just as Saul did. Sometimes, it’s difficult to fully embrace God’s path because it conflicts with our own definition of success. Sometimes, it appears that God intentionally alters the way things are done to prevent us from relying solely on principles instead of following Him. Sometimes, it seems He desires us to appear foolish.
God’s Desire for Our Lives: Intimacy Above All
God’s ultimate desire for our lives isn’t solely focused on outward success; it centers on fostering intimacy with each one of us. (Please understand that I don’t imply that God doesn’t want you to succeed. I firmly believe He does. However, His desire for intimacy with you is even more profound.) This notion often perplexes many Christian businesspeople. We strive to bring glory to God through our work and lives, assuming that we honor Him most by excelling in our endeavors. Yet, we tend to forget that worldly success seldom brings God glory. He is most glorified when we find joy in Him, regardless of the circumstances we face.
As Christian business men and women, we often find ourselves relying on prayer for answers. The pressures of our work intimidate us into seeking God for solutions, rather than seeking Him simply to spend time with Him. We unintentionally treat Him as a genie rather than a friend. Consequently, God may seem silent because our goals diverge. Since we perceive God’s silence, we fail to receive His necessary guidance, reducing His role in business to mere Christian behavior.
The Missing Element in Most Christian Business Books
Though I’m still in search of enough answers to write my own Christian business book, I believe I’ve discovered an essential element that eludes many authors. God desires a partnership with us in every facet of life. Every circumstance presents an opportunity to delve deeper into His love for us. God longs for us to be united with Him as closely as He is with the rest of the Godhead. He wants us to approach our work with our hearts and minds connected to Him. He may prompt us to do extraordinary things (see Business Principles of Jesus). He may guide us toward seemingly unconventional choices. We might even experience moments of failure. However, if our ultimate goal is to encounter more of Jesus throughout the process, the potential for success becomes limitless.
Join me on this captivating journey, where faith intertwines with business, and where success is measured not only by worldly standards but by the depth of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Together, we can navigate the challenges and triumphs, embracing the heart of Christian business and discovering the extraordinary possibilities that await us.