In one of his messages, Pastor Greg Surratt discussed placing God first in our lives. It has probably been in more than one of his messages, but in one recent message in particular he said, “If you place God first in an area of your life and make God responsible for it, He defends it. If he isn’t first, He doesn’t have a responsibility; it’s your responsibility to defend it.” I think that applies to business as well as our personal lives.
Later in the message, Pastor Greg mentioned three ways to place God first in our lives. I think they can easily be applied to business as well.
- Give God the first part of your day
Start your day with prayer and spending time in God’s Word. If you don’t have a place to start, I think Proverbs is a great place for a Christian business person to start. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs. You could read through a chapter of Proverbs a day, corresponding to the day of the month. If you do that for a year, you will be surprised how God will speak to you.
Another method I suggest to people who are new to reading the Bible is to read through the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew Chapters 5-7) every day for a month. You would be surprised how much of that will speak to your life and how answers to problems will come easier.
- Give God the first part of your week.
While this might work strictly for some business and some employees, not everyone or every business can be closed on Sunday. We would be in bad shape if all of our police, firemen, and soldiers were off on Sunday. I think the spirit of the thought is to give everyone a day off. Regardless of how busy it is or what is going on, everyone needs a day off per week. God told the Israelites to take a day off; even during the harvest (Exodus 23:12).
God worked six days and took off on the seventh (Genesis 2:1-3). You are not more important than He is. If your business is open seven days and you don’t have someone else to run it for one of those days, you might be a control freak.
- Give God the first part of your money.
For a business owner, I think this means the first part of profits – after paying the employees and other costs of doing business.
I don’t think it needs to be to the church. I think it can be. If God has put it on your heart to give the tithe from the business He has entrusted you with to the food bank, or to Water Missions, or to your employee benevolence fund, that is between you and Him. I think it is clear you should be giving (Malachi 3:8); similarly to the gleanings of the field that were given to the poor (Leviticus 23:22).