Business vs. Faith

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Tiptoe…tiptoe…shhh! We don’t want anyone to know we are talking about this. This is a business blog on a business social media platform, and targeted at business people –what place does faith have here? Even if we can make it past the politically correct bullies, these two topics are inherently competitors like Batman vs. Superman, Pepsi vs. Coke, or Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs… right? Faith is the currency of the church and business is the backbone of the economy. They don’t mix, they don’t share, and it’s better for everyone if they just leave each other alone. Faith is for some people, but for the rest it is just business. This makes me hungry…

As a kid I was a huge fan of waffles. I loved waking up, getting some waffles out of the freezer and throwing them in the toaster until they were slightly crispy. Then I would take my precious time filling up every compartment with butter and syrup. Unlike pancakes where all of the syrup mixes together and then runs off into the plate, waffles capture its own pool of sugar for every inch of its surface. This division ensures you have the best bite every time (and a slight addiction to sweets).

While separation is a winning design with waffles, it’s a bad strategy for managing your business’ relationship to faith. The unspoken fact of life is that everything we do is based on faith. Whether you are trusting people, senses, processes, education, technology, experience, or yourself, the results that you expect are dependent on the object of your faith. Even the most detailed research supported by the most respected leaders in your industry must be embraced by faith. You are trusting someone or something to help you determine truth.

In reality, the struggle is not between business and faith, it’s between business and faith in God. For most, God is understood as a “subject” rather than a “Someone”. For many, He evokes good, bad, or neutral emotions because of an individual’s past experience with someone who has claimed to represent Him.  For some, there is heartfelt commitment or hurtfelt rejection because of deeply impacting experiences. Regardless of where you are coming from, I want to encourage you to consider these business-transforming principles that arise from faith in God.

  1. Your work is a calling – Wouldn’t it be nice to have passionate employees and leadership that take their responsibilities seriously regardless of their circumstances? According to the Bible, people who believe in God see purpose in every aspect of their life…not just in church. When your work is fueled by God’s purpose, performance and endurance drastically change.

“Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men…” – Colossians 3:23

  1. Your focus is serving – What if your team members were not only committed to their responsibilities, but also jumped in to make sure everyone was succeeding? Or what if your employee went the extra mile for a customer out of genuine concern? This type of service is exactly what Jesus modeled and mandated for those who follow Him. In fact, He even taught that we should serve our enemies. When a person has a relationship with Jesus, they begin to live like Him.

“Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” – Philippians 2: 3-4

  1. Your resources are supernatural – Can you imagine having teammates that never give up because they believe that God will give them what they need for whatever challenge or opportunity that arises? These people are humble and confident. They know that God has promised them the wisdom and strength that they need to fulfill the work He has called them to do. Again the Bible teaches this exactly:

 “I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” – Philippian 4:13

 

Truthfully, this is only touching the surface of what it means to have a faith in God. Even so, my prayer is that you will consider ditching the “waffle philosophy” regarding your business’ relationship to faith in God. Maybe the first step for you is to allow others to embrace their faith at work more freely. Would you be willing to help remove the competitive stigma in your work culture so that people have the freedom to approach their work more fully? For some of us, this is a great reminder for us to express the true source behind our identity and success.

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