"Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit." ~ Proverbs 23:4
There's a big difference between working hard and working right.
As we pass through the Labor Day season and many people celebrated a day off from their intense work lives, a thought came to me about how hard Christians work in their businesses. I wonder if we're working TOO hard as entrepreneurs...
Now that's a strange idea for typical entrepreneurs to embrace, because most of us have been drilled with ethic of hard work all our lives. We have been taught that without hard work we won't accomplish our goals. We also have been taught to "work smart versus working hard." However, we haven't always been taught as Christian entrepreneurs that the smartest way to work is to engage God more intentionally in our work. The truth is if God is not intimately involved in working smarter, you really aren't working all that smartly and you won't achieve the results that you desire.
Grace works by faith, not by works.
We are not just saved by grace, we are supposed to work with grace. After salvation grace empowers us to do what God has called us to do in the way that He wants us to do it.
God doesn't want you to work hard just for the sake of working hard, especially if it involves stress, anxiety, health issues and anything else that steals the joy from the work for which God purposed you to do. He wants you to work right. And the right way to work in the Kingdom is through faithfulness, diligence, and trusting Him to direct your business activities and decisions. You don't have to waste a lot of time, energy, and effort toiling to get things done, when He can open doors in moments versus the years it took you to get them open by yourself. That's called favor.
I don't recall Jesus sweating to get much of anything done. As a matter of fact we never hear of anything related to him running, rushing, or anything else related to many of the behaviors we experience as we operate our businesses. Jesus wasn't just speaking figuratively in Matthew 11:30 when he said, "my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
The reason Jesus could be so calm in his business was because he spent so much time in prayer that the "work" he did was made much easier. The less you pray the harder your work will be. The more you pray the easier your work will be because God will give you revelation, insight, and wisdom to work more efficiently and effectively. In 1898 pastor Andrew Murray said it like this...
"Time spent in prayer will yield more than that given to work. Prayer alone gives work it's worth and its success. Prayer opens the way for God Himself to do His work in us and through us. Let our chief work as God's messengers be intercession; in it we secure the presence and power of God to go with us."
Unfortunately, many Christian entrepreneurs don't trust this principle and spend a lot of time in a nose-to-the-grind, trial-and-error, blood-sweat-and-tears mode, mainly because we don't know any better. The ways of the world are not the ways of God.
The less you allow God to direct your decisions, the harder you will have to work. The less you depend on God, the more you will have to depend on your own talent, resume, network, money, resources, etc. Now God can use all those things if He desires, but He will show how to use them so that your results are so much greater than you could have done on your own.
Working without God is toil. Working with God is worship.
I'm not saying that following God's instructions will always result in "easy" work, but what I am saying is that following God's instructions will keep you from unnecessary mistakes, detours, and u-turns. Many of these delays - that cost you time and money - could be avoided by acknowledging God in all your ways. Don't you think that if God gave you the business idea, He wants to see you succeed and will tell you everything you need to know to make that happen? I'm just sayin'...
Many scriptures speak to how success is accomplished in God's eyes. Very few of them relate to working hard in the natural. Most of them relate to "work" that happens in the Spirit.
God wants to be your board chairman, CEO, CFO, partner, operations manager, advisor, coach, angel investor, virtual assistant, and so much more. He gives your business the best competitive advantage that you could have in the marketplace. If you trust Him and the work He wants to do through you, He will be all that you need to succeed.
What are your thoughts about how hard Christian entrepreneurs work? How do you engage God in your business?
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