Being Wise

Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. Proverbs 9:7-9

Listen as you Read

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Have you ever known someone who overreacts when things don’t go their way?  Here in America, we are used to getting out way, but life does not always work that way.  There are times when we need to sit back, take some instruction to become a better person.

Quick story . . .

I have been creating videos for over fifteen years.  I have recorded plays, short biography sketches and lots of business videos.  Recently, I was doing some behind the scenes video for a fashion project.  I am not a ‘fashion’ kind of person and I am slightly out of my comfort zone working in that environment.

The lead photographer saw my first video and gave some pointers.  I corrected the video and she loved it.  Then, on another call she made some suggestions about the way I was shooting.  I immediately got defensive and did not want to listen. When I got off the phone call I had to remind myself “the wise listen to instruction.”

To make a long story short, I listened to what she had to say and my next fashion video was the best so far.  I set my pride aside and listened to what she had to say.  I became wiser because I was willing to listen.

God puts people in our lives to help us get to new levels.  We are either helping someone else grow, or we are growing from them.  It is a concept we see throughout the Bible: i.e. Moses and Joshua or Paul and Timothy.

As business owners, we are leaders.  That does not mean we can’t learn from anyone else.  I had a wise Christian man tell me, “You can learn something from everyone no matter how insignificant you think they are.”

Firstly, no one is insignificant. We are all Children of God.  We all stand at the same place before the cross whether rich or poor.  To put it in perspective think about this humbling thought: Everyone is better than you at something.

When we go into business with the idea that we know it all, our business flat lines and we become stagnant.  When we enter our business with the openness to learn, we have a business that thrives and grows.

Even though you are the leader of your business, don’t be afraid to listen to your employees, vendors and customers.  They all have a different perspective than you, and they may see a blind spot that you cannot see from your leadership role.

The question is simple, are you teachable?  If you are teachable, you will be wise and your business will grow.

“Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.” Proverbs 9:7-9

Amen

I hope you enjoyed this business Bible study from Christian Business Revolution.  We’ll see you next week.

Christian Entrepreneurs Can Be Heard Online Through Blogs

Christian entrepreneur blogI work with many entrepreneurs as a business coach.  I am amazed at how many people do not see the value of creating a blog on their webpage.

No longer are blogs are simple rambling of some lone person typing words from a basement.  Blogs are an integrated part of many successful businesses and almost all online marketing plans.  You can look at them as a platform for the world to be a better place.

Christians need their voice to be heard. Christian business owners are the leaders that need to be heard the loudest. Click To Tweet

I am tired of seeing all the people ranting about stupid things online.  All the little squeaky voices are being heard, but the only time you hear about Christians is when they mess up.

Isn’t it time that honest, intelligent Christian leaders take responsibility to be heard?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we all need to go out and post our soap box sermons online.  I think we need our professionalism and intelligence to shine with the light of Christ. When we have a message of hope but it is hidden behind judgement and hate, we miss the mark.

(Ok, I will get off my soap box.)

Aside from the fact that your business is more likely to be noticed when you have fresh content (a blog) on your website, it is important to have the Christian worldview online.  We can’t just hide in our Christian bubbles and wait for Christ to come back. We must engage the world, especially if we are in business.  Remember, we are to be ‘in the world and not of the world.’

  • Christian business owners need to blog to show Christians can be intelligent.
  • Christian business owners need to blog to share their wisdom about business.
  • Christian business owners need to blog to show other Christians they are not alone.
  • Christian business owners need to blog to show faith.
  • Christian business owners need to blog to show hope.
  • Christian business owners need to blog to show love.

“. . . and the greatest of these is love.”

blog questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Blogging

“What if I can’t write well?” 

You can only get better by writing.  Just do the best you can and as you grow, so will your writing.

“What if I don’t know what to write?”

Start with your own Frequently Asked Questions and go from there.  Here is a handy blog post that may help.

“What if I don’t know how to create a blog?”

There are literally thousands, of Youtube videos about blog posting.  Take twenty minutes a day and learn what you need.  There are plenty of free blog platforms.  I suggest WordPress.  (We will be doing a training on that in our members area soon. Join now and get a tremendous deal.)

“What if I am not sure people will listen to me?”

Write it anyway.  Just get your voice out there and let God do the work.  If more Christians let their voices be heard, we will see the world can be a better place.

 

Quick Wrap up:

The Christian voice needs to be heard more online.  We live in a world that readily and willingly promotes sinful ways that hurt society.  When Christians let their voice be heard with love, there will be a revolution that brings people back to Christ and away from sin.

The plan for a blog is simple:

  1. Pray about what to write.

  2. Write it.

  3. Let God use it.

You can figure out the details as you go.

When Christians let their voice be heard with love, there will be a revolution that brings people to Christ. Click To Tweet

 

 

 

Can Christians Set Goals?

Christian New year's ResolutionI heard a Christian business man say that it is not good to set New Year’s resolutions.  I even heard one person say Christians should not set goals, but should just rely on God each day.  Some of those well-meaning friends quote James 4:13-14:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

That is only half the truth.  Let’s read the very next verse, James 4:15:

Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

It is not a matter of not making New Year’s resolutions or setting goals at any time of the year.  It is a matter of where those goals come from: self or God.

Christian business goals start with God

When we start setting goals at any time of the year, we should put God at the center of our goal setting process.  You may need to get alone for a little while and really dig into prayer before setting any goals for your life and/or your business.

Start with the question: “What does God want from me?”

Then, ask “What does God want from my business?”

When we start with ourselves it helps us to listen to God because we open ourselves up to hear from Him.

Remember, prayer is a two way communication.  It is not about listing all the things we want.  It is about connecting with an Almighty, Creator God who knows what is best for us.  It is about learning to listen to Him for direction.

Here are some verses to help you focus on God’s will when you set out to make your goals.

  • Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
  • Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
  • Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”
  • Isaiah 32:8 “But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand.”
  • Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
  • Luke 14: 28-30 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

 

A simple plan for Christian business goal setting

  1. Keep God at the center of your goals: Read one of the verses above and meditate on it before you set your New Year’s resolution or when you set goals at any time of the year.  Take time to pray and really become clear about what you feel God wants for you and your business this year.
  2. Focus on one goal:  God is not a God of confusion.  Find one goal, one purpose God wants you to focus on.  Set your goal with something that is specific that you can measure and track: i.e. specific amount of revenue, number of new customers, specific amount of charitable donations, etc.
  3. Divide the goal into monthly goals: Break your yearly goal into monthly steps.  What do you need to happen each month in order to accomplish your yearly goal?
  4. Create action steps for each week and every day: Take the first couple of months and jot down weekly and daily actions. Four successful weeks and you should reach your monthly goals. What do you need to do each day in order to make your week a success?
  5. Take small steps each day: Take small steps towards your goal every day.  Each day make small steps towards your overall goal and if you miss a day, don’t focus on what you missed, focus on what you want to accomplish overall.  Pick yourself up and make each new day a day to Glorify God.

If we set goals that glorify God, we will have the right intention for our business: a God-honoring business.

If we set goals that glorify God, we will have a God-honoring business that impacts lives. Click To Tweet

Go ahead and set some goals, whether it is the beginning of the year, the beginning of the month, or just the beginning of the day.

Remember: God will be glorified in your business when you turn to Him first.

 

Relying on Christ in Business

Relying on God in Christian Business

Christian-business-quotesMany people quote Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

It is a powerful verse, but I think it is even more powerful when we learn to truly grasp what it means.  In one way it means I can do anything (focus on self).  In another way it means Christ brings us strength (focus on Christ).

Wisdom from childhood

In third grade I was frequently asked to stay during play time and write on the board.  I kept talking when I was not supposed to and the teacher always seemed to catch me.  I really wanted play time, but there were times in class where I just ‘had’ to talk.

I was what we call today ADHD (I don’t agree with that label, but we won’t talk about that here.)  I had trouble sitting still and not talking was rough when I had so much to say.  My parents would not accept that I could not control my actions.  My mom tried to help me by saying, “to thyself be true.”

To me, I thought it mean I can do whatever I wanted because that is ‘just who I am.’  What she was really trying to tell me was that she knew I could make the right decisions and act accordingly.

I thought it was all about ME.  When in reality, she was saying that she knew what I was capable of because she gave me the tools to make the right decisions.  She ‘raised me right’ and knew that I could handle tough circumstances without continuing to get in trouble at school.

The power of a shift in thinking

The shift in this verse is powerful when we get it. Philippians 4:13 it is not about the ‘I’ but it is about the ‘Christ.’

Instead of going out to do whatever we want and expecting God to have our backs, we should turn to Christ and rely on His strength no matter what this world throws at us: good or bad.

In Philippians 4 Paul explains that he is going through some really tough times. Most people would leave their faith to go through what he was going through.  Instead he says, “I have learned to be content in all circumstances.”  The secret is this, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11, 14)

Do you see the shift?

Instead of going out and doing whatever we want and expecting God to make us successful, this verse is an encouragement when things aren’t always perfect.

We live in a fallen world.  There will be tough times for any Christian.  If we expect everything to be perfect, we miss the power that comes from relying on Christ for everything.

 

Put scripture into practice

Let’s put this verse into practice in your life.  Start by answering this question: Is Christ just along for the ride so you can do whatever you want or do you rely on Him no matter what this world throws at you?

In your business, turn to God first when you make a decision.  When things go well or things go bad, you know He will give you the strength to make it through.

When things do go well, give Him the praise. When things get tough, ask Him what He wants you to learn, then rely on His strength to get you through anything.

Rely on Christ, don’t expect Him to rely on you and your life will always be built on faith. Click To Tweet

Christian business hope

christian-business-hopeSunday when I left church I saw a man looking for his dog.  As he walked around the corner of the church, I got in the car and heard the name of the dog: Hope!

Picture it!  I walk out of church to find a guy wandering in the parking lot looking for hope.

I wonder how many people are out in the world looking for hope, but are afraid to go into the church.  Where do they go?

They go to businesses, like yours and mine.  They go to businesses run by Christians who become the bridge that takes them to the cross.

It is only by understanding the grace and love found in the cross that someone can truly find hope.

Is your business a place where someone can find that bridge to hope?

Businesses run by Christians can be the bridge that helps hopeless people find the cross. Click To Tweet

Be a blessing and be blessed!

-Rev. H

How do you represent God in your business?

representing-God-in-Christian-businessOne Christian owned business got this message, “Keep your religion out of business.”  What would you think if you got this message?

It was really hard to hear something like that because it makes you wonder if your business is turning away customers that you could be helping.  Let’s look at the practicality of representing God in your business and how it can make a difference in the lives of the customers you serve.

Understand Your Customer

First, let’s look at what this person is saying.  They don’t want to hear about Jesus or God, but they cared enough to leave a comment for you.  They may have been hurt by another Christian, or they may be of a totally different religion.

It’s not that they don’t want you to run your business based on Christian values, they just don’t want to know where you got those values.  It is hard to represent God in your business without mentioning Him.

Representing God in your Business

Representing God means that you are His Ambassador.  You represent God with your ACTIONS.

There are too many companies using the fish logo or Bible verses, whose actions don’t represent God.  It is not a matter of where you place a cross, a fish or a Bible verse, it is a matter of how you treat people.

Honestly, non-Christian people don’t care if you are a Christian or not, as long as you take care of them and treat them as a person with value. They want to know that you care about them and want to help them.

If you want to use Bible verses on your marketing materials, that is a personal decision, but make sure you and everyone in your company is acting according to that verse.

A Quick Story About Christian Symbols

I was in traffic in Houston.  The traffic was horribly busy.  People were whizzing by me even though I was unintentionally speeding.  One guy cut me off and flashed the ‘one finger wave.’  On the back of his car was a Christian fish symbol and a cross.  You can imagine my thoughts about the driver as a Christian, but imagine what non-Christians think when they see something like that.

Represent Christ in your business by words and deeds, not just crosses and verses. Click To Tweet

Should I post Bible verses on social media?

This is a great question recently asked by one of my Christian business friends.  He wanted to know if it was ‘ok’ to post Bible verses on his social media.

social-media-etiquette-Chrisian-business-webMy first response was to think of social media like a network group.  Would you go into a group and start quoting Bible verses?  Probably not.

Bob Goff, author of Love Does, said, “Why do I need to quote Bible verses on social media, they are already spelled out in the Bible?”

With that being said, I know some people will say things like, “If you quote a Bible verse, then you are exposing people to God’s word and God’s word does not return void.”

OK, I get that, but stay with me for a moment. . .

First, keep in mind when you quote a Bible verse, there is no context for that verse.  A verse taken out of context can mean anything.

Second, a non-Christian may not know that is from the Bible and if they do, they may not know how to find it.  Non-Christians may not understand what book, chapter and verse mean.

Now, with that out of the way, let me give you a better way to think about sharing God’s word: your testimony!

Your testimony is the most powerful witnessing tool you have.  If you need to share a Bible verse, share what God is teaching you about that verse.  Don’t just quote a verse, but talk about the power of God in your life today.

Again, it is a little shift, but a powerful witness.  People respond to authentic people.  When you can be real, raw and radical by living out your Christian life in a way the real world understands, then people will be drawn to the power of Christ working in your life.

One thing I want you to keep in mind, make it about TODAY!  People love to tell their testimony about things that happened in the past, but there is a mighty power about what God is doing in your life today.  Christianity is messy and business is hard so don’t be afraid to be transparent.  If you take time to share your journey and struggles in light of what God is doing, you will always have a witness to non-believers.

The quick answer: Sure share Bible verses, but only if you share how God is changing your life today.

bible-openingDon’t you wish the Bible had a books called the 1 & 2 Twitter or Chronicles of Facebook?  It would be good to see what Jesus had to say about social media and on social media, wouldn’t it?

We all know there is nothing in the Bible talking about social media because social media was not around at the time . . or is there?

Here’s a reality check: In biblical times they had similar social problems we have today.  The same thing was happening verbally in the biblical age that is happening online now. It is not a new problem, it is just a new media. (Thanks for that wisdom, Shawn O’Madden.)

Let’s look in the Bible to see how Paul guided Timothy, a young Christian leader:

2 Timothy 2 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Now, I don’t want to read too much into it, but if this was modern day Paul talking to Timothy, this passage would be talking directly about social media.

Let’s just walk through the Bible and glean wisdom from it directly:

Don’t have anything to do with stupid arguments.  If you go to social media and react, you will be pulled into an argument. If you go online for an argument, you have already lost. Don’t do that no matter how many buttons that troll tries to push.

Be kind, not quarrelsome.  There are too many Christians arguing and bashing what people are doing rather than being kind and teaching the right way.  We are to be able to teach by our actions and our words.  If all we do is argue, we become bitter and cannot be a good teacher, much less a good witness.

Don’t be resentful.  If you feel like you are not treated fairly, you want to burst out and let your feelings be known.  I get it, but social media is not the place for an emotional dumping ground.  God never said we will be treated fairly in this world, just ask Job!

Gently instruct in hope.  Wow!  This one says it all.  Be gentle and always share the hope of Christ.  When Jesus was on the earth, He didn’t go around judging people for sins.  He was honest, sincere and showed the hope of eternity.

When you break down this scripture, you can easily see how it applies directly to social media. It is a great guideline to use as we post for our business or for ourself.

CHALLENGE: Dig into the Bible for yourself and see what it says you should post.  Then, when you post, post in love, not in hate.

rockstar-faithHave you heard the one about the rock star defending the football player? In 2013, Gene Simmons, KISS front man and rock star, defended Tim Tebow for his beliefs.

People were basically making fun of Tim because of his response to being let go from a team. It is sad when someone takes the high road and people pounce on him.

Simmons said, “He’s got a religious passion, as well he should, we’re in America. He’s proud to be a Christian, what’s wrong with that? And yet, with sports media and pop culture media, they make fun of his religion. Really? In America? If he was wearing a burqa, they wouldn’t dare say anything. But if you’re a Christian, you get to be picked on? What the hell?”

You may not agree with the expletive at the end, but realize that this is a ‘secular’ rock star calling out the wolf-like media.

You can choose to stand up for your beliefs and defend those who need defending. When someone is doing good, a simple encouragement could be all they need.

When was the last time you stood up for your beliefs or someone else’s? Take time today to encourage someone who is having a rough time. Show the love of Christ with the simplicity of kind words.

(Read the whole story here if you want.)

6greaterthan7Christian Business Revolution is all about revealing business topics that don’t make sense to most people.  We understand God is in control and sometimes God’s math makes perfect sense. That is why six is greater than seven!

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The question for today, how can a business that is only open 6 days a week beat out similar businesses that are open 7 days a week?

Take a look at the screenshot from QRS’s article on the top 50 brands in quick service and fast and casual:

chik-fil-a-Chrisian-business

From http://www.qsrmagazine.com/reports/qsr50-2015-top-50-chart?sort=2014_sales&dir=desc

Notice the third column.  It is the average sales per unit.  In other words, it is how much on average each individual location makes in sales.

Chik-fil-a, a decidedly Christian based business, has more sales per unit than any other company on the entire list!  They beat out per unit sales of companies that are open 7 days a week, even though they are only open 6 days a week.

Plus look at how they are number 8 on the list of overall sales for the year.  That means they beat out 42 other fast food eatery type places.  WOW!

And they are open one day less each week!

That means that they gave up 52 days, not including holidays, and still beat out total sales of 42 other businesses in their marketplace.  Can I say it again, WOW!

 You know God is part of a business when the only way success makes sense means adding God to the equation.

Business Insider revealed this information in an article titled “How Chik-fil-A’s restaurants sell three times as many as KFC.” If you want to read more, here is a link to the Business Insider article about Chik-Fil-a.

Personally, I used to own a restaurant.  We struggled with rather or not we wanted to stay open on Sundays.  If I had a better Christian conviction at the time, I may have decided to close on Sundays.  Alas, we did not have that conviction and needless to say, I am not in the restaurant business anymore.

That leads me to the questions that this concept brings up.  How important is it to be closed one day of the week for Sabbath?  

Is the fact that God rested on the seventh day reason enough to close your business one day a week?

Does it make a difference if there are rotating leaders and one takes Saturday as a Sabbath and one takes Sunday?

I would love to hear your stories, thoughts and ideas.  I know you have an opinion, so let us hear it!