Most Important Thing about Business

As publisher of the Good News NW I have seen a lot of businesses over the years. Our community in the Northwest has a lot of great things going for it. There are so many Christian business people throughout the Spokane and North Idaho area. Each Christian business has its own way of sharing their faith, a calender or a plaque on the wall. Some christian businesses you recognize by Christian music playing as you walk in the door. It is encouraging to see different businesses express their devotion to Christ in genuine but different ways.
A few months ago I found myself in a business waiting to talk to the owner; he was on the phone and I was sitting in the office. He had one of these offices that had 15 things going on all at the same time. He has a shared office with his partner, with sales people coming in and out. As I was waiting to talk to him his wife was in the room talking to a salesman and she was talking about her home group from church. She said that they were asking about business advice and how to run a business successfully.
She said the most important thing about business is to “seek first the kingdom of God”. As I heard this it was unbelievable to hear this from an owner of what seems to me to be a very successfully business in Spokane. She went on about this to the salesman about seeking the Lord as the most important thing and how everything else takes care of itself when we make this our first and only goal.
I sat thinking on this and I reasoned. Could we, as we do our business, seek his kingdom as if ultimately that is all that matters? But I knew that bills need to be paid and sales need to happen, calls need to be made and work has to be done. My focus was on her words as I processed theses things.
That day was a day of new beginnings for me, a challenge to seek first his kingdom only. That means doing business His way, and not mine. Letting the outcome be his concern and doing what is in front of me to serve God first.
As I sat there I knew that heard what God was speaking to me through this business woman. The office was busy with commotion and it seemed that I was not going to have a chance to speak to the owner that day, but I had heard what I needed to. As I left, I told the secretary that I would try to reach him on the phone later.
I worked the rest of the day with the business woman’s words in my mind, “Seek first the Kingdom of God.” I had one of those days where it seemed that everything went right. As I focused on these words, I thought, “Could the Christian life be meant to be this simple?” You know how it is when the doubt tries to come in. I thought to myself that most of my experience in business has been my ideas, and I know where THAT gets me! Up and Down, UP and DOWN. What about deadlines, and pressure, and stresses of life?
Could I make a resolution to do Christian business and ministry and only seek first his kingdom? It seemed that was God’s challenge to me.
The next day I was at a ministry in Spokane with my wife. We met another couple that day who had a business in Coeur d’Alene and we started talking about church, family, business and who knows what else. As we were talking the woman mentioned when talking about business, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.” You can imagine my jaw dropped when she said that.
I told her the story of what happened the day before and how the business woman said the same thing. She laughed and said that God speaks in amazing ways and that he must be speaking to me. We sat and talked to the couple for an hour or more it seemed and I was chewing on the word, “Seek first the Kingdom of God.”
That night I shared with my kids what had happened, and I thought I should read the verse with the kids to see what was going on around the quote. Read what it says in Matthew 6:28-34,
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Could these words that Jesus spoke be the way to bring success to business, ministry, family, and anything in life? God wants every business to be the best business. No matter what you do I believe God wants you to be the best. The best starts with and finishes with, “Seek first the Kingdom of God.” As we do this we can truly serve God and the people around us with a focus on serving.