I have a business mind. I am constantly looking for new ideas, new products, and more ways to increase revenue. Business is all about keeping up with trends, managing money, and out-creating your competition. It is a thrilling life, but it can also be an exhausting life. For the Christian in business, it can become all too easy to lose sight of what really matters.
What if the direction God is calling you to go with your business is not the most profitable direction?
I recently experienced this. A few months ago I felt called to re-brand Abby's Threads to be more ministry focused.
Here's the thing, Jesus is only trendy until you pull out the Bible. Except for a few verses that are normally taken out of context, the Bible isn't trendy. It tells us what is right and what is wrong, and people don't like to be told they are wrong.
God placed the mission statement "Read it, believe it, live it." on my heart. This mission statement isn't the most trendy thing, but it has inspired people to read the Bible. Sharing what God says about issues in our culture today is definitely not trendy, but it causes people to question what they will believe and where they are going to stand.
I've lost Instagram followers and I've lost customers. I'll be honest, there have been times I've asked God what He's doing, and time and time again He reminds me of His faithfulness.
I am able to be entirely self-employed because He is sustaining and providing for me. I am able to serve in abundance in my church and community because my work is so flexible.
Yes, I have ideas that would probably be more trendy and more profitable than what I am doing right now, but if all I'm worried about is the profit, the passion and the mission will get left in the dust. Greed leads to destruction.
Over and over God promises to provide for the needs of His people. He sometimes chooses to bless in abundance, and sometimes He chooses to sustain, but He will always provide.
This doesn't mean we act foolishly with our money, or expect others to provide for us while we "do ministry". In 2 Thessalonians 3:8-13 Paul calls this type of person a busybody. He gives his account of working night and day to be able to pay for food (he was a tent maker). Often times God's provision is the ability to work for a profit, but we cannot allow ourselves to be so caught up in the profit that we lose sight of the greater purpose God has for us. The reason God provides for us is so we can serve Him.
I was reminded of this passage during my Bible Study, and it very nicely sums up all that I've said:
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
This passage was written for the business minded people. The only profit we should be worried about is heavenly profit. What treasures are we laying up in heaven? How can we increase heavenly revenue? Every time I get consumed by this greedy nature for more more more, I remind myself to focus on heavenly profit over worldly profit.