We are talking about how the fruits of the Spirit can help you in business.

It’s based on Galatians 5:22-23 which reads:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Today is the last fruit: “self control.”

The word used here is ἐγκράτεια or enkrateia

It means self-mastery, self-restraint, or self-control.

The word used hear means a significant amount of self-mastery.  It is a mastery from within that is so strong it is automatic.

It is only used three other times.  Let’s look at these and see how we can grow in our self-control.

The first one we find Paul teaching Felix, the governor who listened to Paul when Paul was imprisoned.

“As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, ‘That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.’” Acts 24:25

Paul was arrested and put in prison.  He had to defend himself.  In the midst of his defense, Paul talks about righteousness that can only come from an internal guidance.  He then, turns the conversation to the Judgement that is to come for all people.

It is funny how Paul was defending himself and used self-control as a defense.  Paul was intelligent and knew the court systems.  He knew how to use words and how to get the attention of Felix.

Yet, right in the middle of his case he presents how righteousness leads to self-control and without those things in our lives, we find ourselves in a time of judgement before God.

Now, let’s see what Peter has to add to that.

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7

Peter knows the value of growth.  He went from being a simple fisherman to leading the church.  He was a business man first, but aligned his life with God and became an apostle and a direct disciple of Christ.

When we are growing in Christ, we will not always be perfect, but we should always be striving to move forward in our relationship with Christ.

We won’t go through the whole list, but let’s look at the general run down.  We always must start with faith.  Self-control comes in the middle only after we gain knowledge.  It is this self-control that leads to godliness and ends in love.

Without self-control there could be no godliness.  We cannot live a holy life unless we surrender who we are to who Christ is working in us.

Without self-control there can be no godliness. #Christianbusiness #Christianentrepreneur Click To Tweet

We may think that Peter quit fishing, but all through scripture, we see Peter following Jesus and fishing.  He was always a business man, but he moved his business to God’s business.  We see him catching a fish to pay taxes in Matthew 17 and even see him fishing awaiting Jesus to return after the resurrection in John 21.

It is amazing to see the influence one person can have on all of eternity when he turned his life and his business over to Christ.  All of history was changed by a carpenter, who taught a fisherman about the kingdom of God.

You are a business owner and you are called to be a Christian first.  Grow in your faith and do business the way God wants you to do business.  Ultimately, when you lay your business at the foot of Jesus and step up as a person of faith, you will always be on the right track.

If you have self-control, you can easily align your business with God and take the step of faith you need to will bring your business to the next level.

For our exercise this week, and the last in this series, I want us to read John chapter 21.  Put yourself in the shoes of Peter.  He had walked with Jesus for years and watched him die, then standing at the shore is a man who speaks to you.  What would you think?  How would you feel?

Take time to read the three stories in this chapter as a whole, then reach each one, one day at a time.  I have included a worksheet below this video as a guide for your reading. (click here for the worksheet)

  • Day 1: Read the whole chapter and put yourself in Peter’s shoes.  What did he learn?  What would you do in that situation?
  • Day 2: John 21:1-14  How would Jesus find you if he showed up at your place of business?  Would you listen to Him even if it did not make sense?
  • Day 3: John 21:15-19  When have you felt like you let Jesus down?  Have you forgiven yourself and allowed Jesus to restore you?
  • Day 4: John 21:19-25  When have you looked to what someone else is doing rather than paying attention to your own life?  Has your business ever suffered because you were comparing yourself with others?
  • Day 5: ReRead the whole chapter. Do you follow Jesus with all you have and all you are?  Have you aligned your life so much with Jesus that you act in self-control, full of the fruits of the spirit?

 

I hope this study has been a blessing to you.  I know it was a blessing for me to open God’s word up into your life and your business.  This is Rev. H. reminding you to be blessed and be a blessing.

Introduction video for our series on Using the Fruits of the Spirit in Your Business.

Business Bible study based on Galatians 5:22-23

 




Love takes a business beyond profits and aligns our hearts with people the way God sees them. #Christianbusiness #Christianentrepreneur Click To Tweet

holiday salesBlack friday . . . cyber monday . . .it all amounts to hurrying to get the next best deal.

What if we built a business based on God’s principles?  What would happen if people trusted our business so much that they did not even think about going somewhere else no matter what kind of sales were going on?

I am not saying we should not be competitive, but our competitive advantage is the way we care for people.  It is the way that God’s love shines out of our business and into the lives of others.

I am not saying I have all the answers.  I am saying we need to rethink how we use holidays to sell more stuff.  Our focus should always be on the way we care for others and share the love of God.  If our customers know that, we don’t have to entice them with the next big sale.  Instead, we can honor them with their committed loyalty and help them make a great decision.

Holiday sales should be about honoring our customers and our God. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. I Corinthians 8:9

Listen as you read along

(running time 2 minutes 13 seconds)

(Right click here and “save as” to download audio MP3 – 2:13)

 

In Corinthians chapter 8 we see that Paul is talking about food.  Specifically, he is talking about food sacrificed to idols.  We don’t have much in the way of context in our modern world to relate.

Basically, Jews believed that food sacrificed to an idol, you were indirectly involved in worshipping that idol.  When they became Christian, they still would not eat that food.  Gentiles, the rest of us, did not see it as worshipping idols.

Paul used this major issue of his day to talk about unification within the church.  He starts off by talking about knowledge.  He says “Knowledge puffs up with love builds up.”  This is a huge issue today.

How many times has someone just had to make a comment about what someone else was doing?  As Christians, we are not here on this earth as moral police.  We are here to help bring people to Christ.  Correcting someone based on knowledge is not a good bridge to bring them to Christ. The bridge of love is a much better path.

Paul points out that the issue is not about other gods.  The issue is about how we think about our actions.  Our conscience is what makes us decide the best course of action for ourselves, not for others.

That bears repeating.  Conscience is what helps us decide what is best for ourselves.  It is not meant to correct others around us.

Paul then really nails the point home in verse 8.  It is not about the meat.  It is about what is bringing us closer to God.  If not eating meat brings us closer to God, then don’t eat meat.  If eating meat brings us closer to God, then eat meat.

Paul ends the chapter by talking about our responsibilities.  We are not supposed to be a stumbling block for those who are weaker in the faith, or those who have yet to make a decision for Christ.  God wants us to act responsibly.

As business owners, we have a responsibility to act as if we are representing Christ because we are. We are to treat others with gentleness, respect and love.  We sometimes set the example for what a Christian is supposed to be in this world.

If you are doing something that is causing someone else to question their faith, you need to stop.  Be aware of how your actions are helping or hurting others.  You have a great responsibility that comes from your influence as a business owner.  Use it wisely and show the world the love of Christ and the wisdom of God.

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. I Corinthians 8:9

Bible business wisdomBusiness Bible verse wisdom: Play the Role You Were Given.

Let’s look at Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

 

Quick Wisdom from this Business Bible Verse:

As business owners we wear many hats.  We have many roles to play.  We have to be the boss, accountant, mentor, leaders, pastor, spouse, parent, priest, etc.

Each of our roles are part of who we are.  Our personality should remain the same through all the stages and all the roles we play.  We stay ‘in character’ by being the person that God created us to be.

Take each of your roles seriously.  Take time to evaluate all the roles you play.  You may not be an accountant, but you should know enough to evaluate the work of your accountant.  You should have a basic understanding of how money works and finances.  You should know how to read reports and evaluate them quickly.

God created you for a specific purpose, but as a business owner, we have to play all the roles that we are given to the best of our ability.  We must learn, grow and become all that God has create us to be.  We are God’s ‘handiwork.’

 

Putting this Business Bible Verse in Practice:

  • Evaluate Roles: Write down all the roles you play in your business.  Give yourself a grade for each role.
  • Educate Your Roles: Read a book or watch some video training to better develop in an area that you are weak in.  You don’t have to master it, you just need to know more than the average person who works in your business.
  • Delegate Your Roles: Evaluate your interest level and skill level in each of your roles.  Then, evaluate the cost of each role.  If you are spending time doing tasks that could be hired out at ten dollars an hour, you are costing yourself money because you are more valuable than that as a business owner.

 

You were created by God to be the best You, You can be. #ChristianEntrepreneur #Christianbusiness Click To Tweet

business bible verseBusiness Bible verse wisdom: Understand who is in control.

Let’s look at Isaiah 46:9-10 to see practical Business wisdom from the Bible.

Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ Isaiah 46:9-10

 

Quick Wisdom from this Business Bible Verse:

Too often we try to control everything we do in this life.  We should plan and make every effort to the best we can in every situation, but at that point we have to let Go do what He is best at: taking care of us.  Ultimately, He is in control.

I used to tell a story.  Imagine the three strongest people you can think of (The Rock, Arnold, etc.). They are standing behind you.  A car has fallen on someone you love.  Would you ask these strong people to stand aside as you try to lift the car off your loved one?  That would not be wise.

We must release things to God if we really understand He is in control.  We do as much as we can and then let God take over.  The old saying goes: We have to let go and let God.

It is a good balance.  Remember the serenity prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

 

Putting this Business Bible Verse in Practice:

  • Post the serenity prayer somewhere close by or make it your computer screen wallpaper.  Just use it to remind yourself that God is in charge.
  • Write down anything that is stressing you out on a sticky note or scratch paper.  Pray about each item one at a time and crumple it up.  Throw it in the trash physically and release it mentally.
  • Commit to praying no less than five full minutes a day for a part of your business that is frustrating you.  Don’t allow any distractions, commit that time to one specific focus.
  • Take a long walk in a park or some sort of nature.  Just look at all the things that God takes care of.  Take a deep breath and release it.  God is taking care of you by providing the air you breathe.  Take the rest of your walk to thank God for all that He provides for us.  (If you can’t get away to take a walk in nature . . .you need to get away and take a walk in nature!)

 

 

In business, we do our best and let God take care of the rest. #ChristianEntrepreneur #Christianbusiness Click To Tweet

business bible verseBusiness Bible verse wisdom: Life does not have a sound track.

Let’s look at John 10:10 to see practical Business wisdom from the Bible.

The thief comes only to steal kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. John 10:10

 

Quick Wisdom from this Business Bible Verse:

If life had a sound track, we would know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.  We know by looking at the history of politics that it is not always easy to spot the good guys.  We must have discernment.

We live in a world where people can pretend to be good, only to be harboring evil as they move forward in their personal plan.  Look at how many televangelist’s empires crumbled when the truth came out or how many Christians failed in business because they cheated on taxes or lied to employees.

We can look at this verse we find the answer.  We have to look at the fruits that people produce.  Are they honest? Do they protect others? Do they build up others and add value to life?  Those are the opposite of what the verse defines as a thief.

Jesus came to give us life to the full.  He wants to take our personalities and explode them with His power.  He wants to bring out all of the best of our life and show the world His face shining through us.

 

Putting this Business Bible Verse in Practice:

  • Realize that you are a child of God and should reflect Him.
  • Read Galatians 5:22-23.  Evaluate yourself by fruits.
  • Create a list of the fruits and give yourself a grade for each.
  • Pick one fruit to develop.  Pray for guidance and create a simple plan.

 

Live life to the fullest. Become a life-giving, fruit-developing child of God. #ChristianEntrepreneur #Christianbusiness Click To Tweet

Biblical Wisdom for BusinessBusiness Bible Verse Wisdom: We see from a heavenly perspective as a business owner.

Let’s look at I Peter 2:9 to see practical Business wisdom from the Bible.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. I Peter 2:9

 

Quick Wisdom from this Business Bible Verse:

We see from God’s perspective.  We don’t treat people the way the world treats them, we treat people the way God treats them.  God tells us that we are a ‘special possession.”

As we can see from this verse, we are chosen and we are a priesthood.  If you take those concepts into your business you will see a big difference.  You are a priest or shepherd for anyone in your business.  That includes employees or customers.

  • Being a priest means you understand who you are in Christ.
  • Being a priest means you are continually connecting deeper to God personally.
  • Being a priest means you are praying for employees, customers and community.
  • Being a priest means you are leading spiritually.

 

 

Putting this Business Bible verse in Practice:

  • Realize you are a priesthood for God and pray for His direction.
  • Create a list to pray for your employees, vendors, and customers.
  • Create a schedule for your Bible reading so you can dig into God’s word.
  • Create an open prayer time before the beginning of the day.
  • Create a Bible study for after hours or during lunch.

Caution: Make sure spiritual activities are not seen as mandatory in your business.  Also be cautious about ‘favoring’ those that attend these optional studies.

We must lead our business like Christ leads the church. #Christianbusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

Today’s video is about our perspective here on earth in light of scripture.  Bible verses, visual images and a perspective of life are included in each part of this scripture.

If you are a faith member, you can download any of these images with the Bible verse and the wisdom thought from ‘images’ in your dashboard.  It’s totally free for you!

All of these Bible verses talk about a perspective in business.  The business Bible verses focus on you and who you are according to the Bible.  We just need to understand who we are and help others in the world understand who they are.

The 7 Bible Verses used in this video are:

  1. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
  2. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. I Peter 2:9
  3. Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ Isaiah 46:9-10
  4. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
  5. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
  6. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
  7. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18
Impact lives for Christ by seeing the world the way God does. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

Investing in Yourself

investing in yourselfWhen it comes to owning a business, your most valuable asset is you.  You were given the dream, desire and decision to grow your business.  God created you in such a way that you were meant to do something to impact the world.

Before we go too far, let’s look at the biblical foundation for this concept.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

You may say, “This is not about investing.  It’s about worshiping God and loving others.”  I would agree to some extent, but I want you to look further.

The verse says to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.  How can you do that unless you are healthy in heart, soul, mind and strength?  How can you do that unless you have invested in yourself in all four of those areas of growth?

When we invest in ourselves we are investing in our worship of God. 

 

We want to love God with all of our heart.  We must invest time in emotional development.  We must seek deep into who we are and find our purpose.  We must then, worship God out of that purpose.

We want to love God with all of our soul.  We must invest time in developing our spiritual lives through Bible study, involvement with church, accountability, giving, worship, prayer, etc.  We must develop who we are as spiritual beings and children of God.

We want to love God with all of our mind.  We must sharpen our minds so that we can worship God with all of our faculties.  We must be ever growing our minds in the purpose that God has given us here on earth in order to honor Him.

We want to love God with all of our strength.  We must start by understanding that our body is God’s temple.  We must feed it healthy food.  We must commit to regular exercise, rest, etc.  We can’t worship God unless we first have the strength to do so in our body.

Investing in yourself is the first way that you begin honoring God.  If we go back to the verse, it says to love our neighbors as ourselves.  If we don’t love ourselves, how can we love our neighbors?  If we don’t love ourselves, how can we truly worship a God who created us the way we are?

As Christians, we should always be striving to be better in all areas of live.  When we start with the simple things we can control, we find ourselves loving God and loving others in increasing capacity.

Think of a 1% growth in each category over the next year. Here are some ways you may want to consider investing in the following areas:

 

Heart:

  • Take a personality test and get to know yourself better.
  • Evaluate your family life and your relationship with friends.  Get rid of any grudges and live in forgiveness.
  • Read Psalms and other Bible stories to identify emotions you relate to and see how people in the Bible dealt with those same emotions.

 

Soul:

  • Take a spiritual gifts test online and determine how God has made you to interact with the world.
  • Commit to regular spiritual habits: Bible reading, Prayer, Church involvement, Giving, etc.
  • Listen to Christian music (any style you prefer).
  • Listen to Christian leaders in business, pastors, or other areas that interest you (Youtube, Podcasts, etc.)

 

Mind:

  • Read a book that helps you in business.
  • Listen to a podcast from a leader you respect in the business world, preferably Christian leaders.
  • Watch a video about a topic that stretches your mind. (Don’t be afraid of opposing views.)

 

Strength:

  • Keep a food journal for a week and evaluate your typical diet. Adjust small areas to better your nutrition.
  • Implement a simple exercise routine start once a week, then three times a week, then six!
  • Get a fitness coach or accountability partner to help keep you on track.

 

I am not saying do all of these at once.  Pick ONE AREA and do ONE THING. Investments grow best little by little.

Life and growth is about small incremental moments.  1% growth in any area is easily attainable.  It could be a simple walk around the block, read a chapter of Bible each day and find a Christian podcast to listen to.

Note: you can do all three of these at the same time.  Listen to the podcast while you walk and eat a fruit or veggie while you walk . . . that’s a three for one . . . and if the podcast is Christian, it could be a little growth in all four areas with one simple activity.

Investing in yourself is not hard.  It just takes a bit of planning and strategy.  If you need help, contact a Christian business coach or find a mentor in your local area.

Remember, investing in yourself is honoring God with all of who you are. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet