“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end in life.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
I was talking to a business owner last weekend who is 73 years old, and tired. No insurance, no systems to automate anything, and after years of less-than-optimal team performance – this guy just wanted to get up and walk away to actually live the life he thought he should have as a business owner of 50+ years. Problem is, he had never done any planning for that.
I may have a surprise for ya, but learning doesn’t usually get easier with age. There is no fairy that flies around bestowing retirement on businesses just because they’ve been around for the last 30 years. It’s not a picture anybody wants to look at. If we don’t face our situations with objectivity, determination and steadfastness, we’ll have a hard time dealing with the future.
Is it Ever Too Late to Grow?
I think the better question for the Christian business owner is, is anything too hard for God? Listen, years of unpreparedness take their toll. There is a cost we incur, and we pay with it being more difficult than when we’re prepared. It won’t be done, however, without steady forward movement. Putting your head in the sand is NOT an option, and God never told anybody to do that. David slew Goliath, and you can down this giant, too.
Paul told us in 2 Peter 2:4 to ‘be alert therefore to pray’, and Jesus talked a lot about being prepared for the future. I love the story He told in the parable of the talents. It’s all about business, and reveals God’s heart about commerce.
Reading Luke 19:12-27 from the amplified version, we see a man leaving money to servants while he goes to purchase another kingdom far away. Each man was given something to work with and told to invest it. Though it never tells us why directly – we can start to understand why he gave the last man less than the others when you see his revealed mindset at the end of the parable. Clearly, these men were expected to double their master’s investment in them.
I think the unspoken back story here is that these men all lived in a town that enjoyed a benefit from their ventures in business. When people are trading, they are doing well. This was a significant amount of money bestowed on all three men, particularly generous to the first two. He gave them both authority over many cities. Wow. Commerce does that, by the way. Money talks.
The master is upset with the third man because of his poverty mindset, which he expected before he left town or he might have been tasked with more. The third man had been challenged in business, to do something with what he had been given. But instead of growing, improving, and stepping out in a town clearly benefiting from the other men’s trading – he thought of his master as harsh and cruel.
That’s another way to say he was afraid to think big. He thought that if he just minded his own little set of circumstances, and just didn’t lose anything, that it would be good enough. It wasn’t. That man was stripped of the original money, and it says something very interesting in verse 27.
“The indignant king ended by saying, but as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to reign over them – bring them here and slaughter them in my presence!”
Enemies. The king says that because he did nothing with what he was given, that he didn’t want to be subject to the king’s reign. What an implication that has for us today! Our God is not about poverty, He’s all about taking risks and trusting Him and rewarding us with finances and authority when we prove ourselves. When we do, we’re subjecting ourselves to His authority.
How would American business benefit from understanding this?
So is it ever too late? As of this writing He hasn’t returned yet. It’s time to get moving. If you need solid management advice and marketing consultation, don’t waste any more time. I’ll prayerfully help you turn this ship around, so you can finally enjoy the benefits of business ownership.
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