It’s been four years since I started doing business in the Internet marketing industry. I deal with SEO and offer my services to clients around the globe. It isn’t easy. In fact most people think it’s hard. It isn’t hard, really.
It is impossible.
Webmaster’s Note: It’s been a while since I wrote consistently in the God and You blog. That’s because I’ve been lost in what to really write. My passion is about business and personal growth recently and I thought it may not be a good fit for the God and You blog – until this post. God-willing, this may be the start of a series that I’m really passionate about and I think should be heard by the world.
The Parallel Paradox
Lots of people delve into business thinking it’s just some other endeavor to riches and fame. Before you read on any further, I want to tell you straight-up that it’s not.
Business is a continuous cycle of personal growth – and out of that growth comes value and a lasting entity that you will build until you could call it a corporation.
A really good business that an individual will love should stem from passion and calling. Two very powerful things that shape a person’s drive for work and fulfillment respectively. Let me explain.
Without passion, it’s extremely hard to fuel your emotional drive and purpose for doing work.
Without calling, you become lost and confused of whether you are doing something meaningful with your choice of work.
However there is a third critical root that supplants a business person – especially a Christian business person and that is the depth of the knowledge of the character of God.
Sidetracked by Convictions
Let’s face it – business deals with a lot of loopholes, grey areas and relativism. It’s true even for Christians. One thing that we have to realize is that loopholes, grey areas and relativism isn’t bad. It’s just confusing – if you don’t know where to make a stand. Let me give you a scenario.
Suppose you don’t really like to drink alcohol. And you’ve never drunk alcohol except for wine – and you always drink it with your dad whenever he invites you for a glass. There’s nothing wrong with that.
You’ve heard stories of alcoholics and of people who love to get drunk and that’s fine. Then one day, one of your clients invite you for a ‘drink or two’. So you order a glass of wine and finish it up.
Your client drinks vodka like water.
Everything was going smooth until he offers you some. As it happened, you’ve heard stories about Vodka that it’s ’not okay’ to drink. But hey, it’s your client so you go ahead and drink one anyway.
You immediately feel tipsy.
Then you feel a little awkward now and you think “Is what I’m doing alright for a Christian guy like me?”
Your heart starts to feel guilt. And you excuse yourself from the rest of the night.
This is not an uncommon event in business. I’ve heard stories and stories of these. While not getting drunk is certainly a godly way to drink alcohol, what does the Bible say about getting tipsy?
The answer: Nothing.
At least, not directly. Instead, it says this:
“Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit” – Ephesians 5:18
So does this mean that we should do away with alcohol from our lives? Not really. The Bible also recognizes the good thing that comes out of drinking wine (which naturally contains alcohol).
“Don’t drink only water. You ought to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach because you are sick so often.” – 1 Timothy 5:23
Being sick to be able to morally drink wine is not the point. The underlining fact that I want to point out is that drinking alcohol is not a sin. Getting drunk is.
But would you know this if you haven’t really read and understood these verses? Would you really know what to do in times that you are faced with a client who is a drunkard and he asks you to drink a ‘glass or two‘ with him – if you don’t know God’s character towards alcohol?
The bottom line is this:
If you are so good in business and the depth of your knowledge and relationship with God doesn’t run as deep, you will be eaten up by your convictions and succumb to guilt and sin – misplaced or not.
The lack of God’s character and intimacy in our lives is the root of getting sidetracked with unfounded convictions, guilt and sin in business.
Both Hands Up
You and I may not realize it but the truth is, there are lots of smart, God-fearing people out there who have both their hands up when it comes to business. They just simply give up.
They would rather stay employed where everything is quite naturally worked out. They finish a month’s worth of work, get the market-grade pay, go home routinely at 5pm, enjoy the night with friends and family and repeat – most of them until they retire.
I’m not talking about the happy people who really wants to work a day job. I’m talking about the people who feel a tingling feeling inside that they’re really supposed to be somewhere else doing something bigger – following their calling and passion.
It’s a sad thing that a lot of Christians out there give up the idea of business because of the idea that starting up a business is ‘dirty’. That it deals with politics, with bribery, with tax-evasion and whatnots. Yes, it may get dirty because hey, everyone who plants a tree needs to get soiled one way or the other. People who don’t know how to grow a tree right will look at the soil and fertilizer as exactly that – dirty.
People consider loopholes, grey areas and relativism in business as ‘dirty’. But you know what? When you study – really study, how it is to really make a tree strong and grow and bear good fruit, you will find out that it has a lot to do with the dirt of the soil and fertilizers and the right use of it.
In the same way, you need to study how it is to deal with business in a way that you are aligned with God’s will. And the only way to go about it is to study God’s character through the Bible and to have an intimate relationship with Him through prayer.
Do that, and in the end, you will reap a harvest.
The world needs more God-fearing people in business.