5 Guiding Principles for Entrepreneurs, According to the Book of MatthewJul 09, 2022
Is God really involved in our work? How can we be certain we’re conducting our online businesses, sales funnels, coaching calls, website shops and speaking gigs according to God’s will and wisdom? Do you ever wish God had an instruction manual for modern biz managers?
He does. It’s found in Matthew 10. This is the account in which Jesus sends his disciples into the villages to carry on his work of healing and preaching. It’s the Lord’s “onboarding” instructions to the guys who later became the founders of Christianity. Talk about an IPO!
Let’s explore one particular passage that I think speaks clearly into how and why God is in charge of your business, plus provides a few crucial marching orders for honoring God with your work.
- God calls you and equips you.
“Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness” (vs 1).
First of all, your work is a calling. God calls you to it. He invites you into it. And then He equips you with the skills (“authority”) you’ll need to get the job done.
What does this mean for us? We can be confident that if God gives us a job to do, He will grant us the abilities and the resources needed to follow through. As our results grow, let’s never forget the source of power that enables us to work in the first place.
- God knows you.
“These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him” (vs. 2–4)
These twelve men were ordinary people, with problems and faults just like you and me. God knew each of them intimately, their fears and their limitations, their backgrounds and their mistakes; He even knew who would betray Him. Yet God chose them to carry out His work.
If you feel like you’re not talented enough, not smart enough, too scared or flawed or damaged to do the kind of work that changes people, look to the Bible. God has a habit of using ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things.
- God gives you an audience and a message to share.
“These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.’ As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near’” (vs. 5–7).
God will show you who He wants you to serve, and what He wants you to say. So trust His nudges, speak into whatever audience He impresses on your heart, and do it with confidence that your work can be a blessing to those people.
- God wants you to be generous.
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give” (v. 8).
As business owners, it’s easy to get caught up in making money rather than giving stuff away for free. While financial returns are important, God still wants us to operate with a heart of generosity.
Why? Because though we serve others, He served us first. He healed us, saved us, taught us and equipped us, and one of the ways He redeems our story is by allowing us to serve others through it. Our work is simply paying forward the blessings we’ve already received from God. So don’t be a Scrooge, the Bible says. Let’s maintain a focus on being generous, as the Lord is generous to us.
- God says it’s okay to get paid.
“Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep.”(v. 9–10).
Here at The Inspired Business, we’re big advocates for getting paid a fair income for our labor—not because we love money more than God, but because Jesus says we should get paid. He says right here in Matthew that “the worker is worth his keep,” meaning we ought to be supported by the people we serve.
This concept is reinforced in many places throughout the Bible.
- 1 Timothy 5:18: The worker is worthy of his wages.
- Proverbs 31:18: An admirable woman makes sure her trading is profitable.
- Proverbs 11:26: People are blessed if they sell their goods.
- Luke 8:1–3: Jesus himself was supported financially—by women, no less!
Now, a word to anyone reading this post who wants to refute this truth with a verse like Matthew 19:24, which says, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” I’ve heard people argue that verse is saying rich people won’t get to heaven. Which is an odd claim, since that would mean some of God’s wealthier Bible heroes—Abraham, David, Solomon, Job—must not be in heaven today.
A closer look at the context shows us that Jesus wasn’t condemning wealthy people for their wealth. He was explaining that anything we deem more important than He is (whether that’s money, success, beauty, relationships) will become the thing that trips us up and prevents us from surrendering our lives to the only One who saves.
Bottom line: Business is not about money. Success is not about money. Your calling is not about money. It’s about serving God and people well—with integrity, kindness, generosity and love. Money is simply an important factor that enables us to keep working in our callings, because it covers the cost of running a business. It blesses our employees and contractors with jobs that are meaningful to them and fulfills their own callings. It generates returns for our families, for whom God calls us to provide.
And the best part? The more we earn, the more we can give. My friend Kent Sanders from The Daily Writer Podcast put it this way: Would you rather be the organization in need of a big donation, or the person who is able to write the check?
There’s value in both roles. Me, personally? I want to write the check. And I’m guessing if you’ve read this far then you do, too. But I also want every step of the process leading up to that moment to honor God. So…have confidence that the Lord who loves you has also called you, equipped you, pointed you to the people He wants you to serve generously, and—He is such an amazing Father—He is even smiling as you earn financial rewards for the task. All good things come from Him. So let’s accept His gifts as we do His work with integrity. Amen?
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