“The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.”
In our previous blog, we talked about the idea of stewardship. Having ownership of anything comes with the responsibility to use it well. We do that by prioritizing things like our faith, our time, and our resources. However, it’s important to take a step back and think about the ownership piece of the situation.
It’s easy to think of ourselves as owners of every aspect of our lives. We live in a culture that pushes entrepreneurship, with countless books describing what it means to take complete control and ownership of our lives and our work. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing to consider, but we can easily begin to see ourselves as the center of our own universe.
So for anyone who has found themselves leading a business and other people within it, it is vital to be able to answer the question: Who really owns my business?
“For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.)”
Just as a house is used in this verse as a metaphor, let’s consider our work in the same way. As someone who owns a business or plays a role in dictating the decisions a business makes, you may see yourself as a builder or creator. Especially for those who started their own business, there can be a deep feeling of connection and pride based on the fact that you started a business from the ground up.
However, while you most certainly worked hard to get your business where it is or where it’s going, take a moment to consider how you got here. Were you able to use the gifts and abilities you were born with to grow your business? Did you ever use a human connection you made throughout your life to take the next step for your business? Did the right thing ever happen at just the right time?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then you must never forget that those are all things given to you by God. It is completely up to you whether you will thank Him and use it for His glory, or ignore him and use it to glorify yourself. God blessed you with gifts and abilities. God put the right people into your life. God celebrated in the joy of your success when things went right. So never discount the role that God has played in making your business.
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.”
-1 Chronicles 29:11-12
David makes it clear here that not only is God the creator of all things, but he also bestows riches and honor from His creation. You may find your business in a time of abundance right now. Sales are good, and while not every day may be easy, things are on the right track. It’s easy to pat yourself on the back and be self-congratulatory, saying, “Wow, look at all the great work I’ve done, and now I’m being rewarded for it.”
How often do we fail to consider that all those successes come from God? He has the ultimate authority to give and take away, yet it is often only when He takes away that we offer Him our attention and ask for help. Unfortunately, we are oftentimes much quicker to take help than to give thanks.
Take a moment right now, as you read this, to consider all the ways that God has blessed you through your business. Did you ever stop to say thank you? Or did you simply move on to your next project?
Every day God is working to sustain you. Be that in your workplace, home, or spiritual walk with Him. It’s important not to take that for granted. God is the builder and sustainer of your business, so all the praise belongs to Him!
If God built your business and sustains it, then it’s a logical conclusion that He truly owns it. As the owner, He asks only one thing, that you seek and follow His commands, glorifying him in all that you do. God’s ownership and your ownership are not mutually exclusive. He has given you your position as a means to make much of who He is in your workplace.
In reality, understanding God’s place in your business should be one of the most freeing experiences of your life. It’s a reminder that your life is much more than customers and sales numbers. It is the love of God that you display every day to the people you encounter. You may know of people who are headed overseas to the international mission field, but don’t let that distract you from the mission field where God has put you here and now.
When we think about what it means to bring Christ into our workplace, there are few lessons more important than understanding the fact that everything we have belongs to God in the first place. Therefore, it is only right that we use the things He’s blessed us with to honor him.
“Don’t withhold good from someone who deserves it when it is in your power to do so.”
“Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others.”