Running a Business
That
Honors God
By Laurie Neumann

Running a Business that Honors God
For more Biblical inspiration on running a business that honors God, visit:
http://www.christianhomebusinessconnection.com/christian-business-ethics.html
By Laurie Neumann
Day 1
"The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
James 5:16
I think it's good from time to time to evaluate where we are with our
businesses.
Are you seeing the level of success you want to? Do you have enough traffic
(if there is such a thing as "enough" traffic:-) Do you have returning
customers?
I have to admit that I can answer no to the first two. So, what should my
reaction be? Well, too many times it has been frustration and discouragement.
I let the blues set in and that gets me absolutely nowhere.
So, what's the right way to react when things aren't going as you had hoped?
PRAY. Yes, I know you have heard it before, but I want to emphasize it again.
Pray for exactly what you need. Do you need more traffic? Pray about it and
for wisdom on how to get more targeted traffic to your website. How about
more customers? Pray for them. And while you're at it, pray for wisdom on
what you can do to encourage them to return to you. Coupons, discounts,
special pricing for returning customers are all good ways to get them to come
back and buy from you again. In other words, give them special treatment. But
pray and ask God what would work best in your particular market.
I believe to be praying fervently as it says in the above verse, our prayers need
to be specific. I find, for myself, general type prayers are kind of lazy and do
not produce much fervency.
Pray specifically for the things you need. Then go forward, do your best, and
be sure to say thank you when you see your prayers get answered.
Action Step: What are three things your business needs right now? Write
them down and take them to God in prayer. Ask Him for His guidance and
provision for the things you need.

Running a Business that Honors God
For more Biblical inspiration on running a business that honors God, visit:
http://www.christianhomebusinessconnection.com/christian-business-ethics.html
Day 2
Parable of the Talents Matthew 25:14-30
Are you using your talents in your business? I think we need to look at if we are
using the gifts and abilities God has given us. He has entrusted to us certain
skills and giftings. If we “hide” them or let them lie dormant, do you think this
pleases God? This applies to all areas of our lives, but I want to relate it to our
work or business.
I think by using our gifts and abilities, it demonstrates our faithfulness to use
what we have been given. I understand that sometimes we just need to do
something to earn income and take care of our families, etc. This is not what I
am talking about. But I do think, as much as possible, it is important to use our
giftings and talents.
As we use our gifts and talents, I believe God will bless us and help us to expand
them. He will add to them or refine them (v.29) But we need to be using them
for Him to do this. We see this happen in the Parable of the Talents. The
servant who had received five talents used them to gain another five; the servant
who had been given two talents gained another two. However, the servant who
received only one talent hid it so he could return it to his master. What was the
outcome? The servants who gained an additional five and two talents were
rewarded with even more. They did not hide their talents ; they used them and
gained more. The servant who hid his one talent had it taken away from him
and given to the servant who had the most (ten talents at this point.)
I want to be sure that I am using what God gave me to my best ability. I am sure
you feel the same way.
Action step: Take some time to evaluate if you are running a business that uses
your gifts and talents. If so, great! If not, you may want to take it to God in
prayer and be open if He wants to lead you down a different path.

Running a Business that Honors God
For more Biblical inspiration on running a business that honors God, visit:
http://www.christianhomebusinessconnection.com/christian-business-ethics.html
Day 3
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things
shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33
Do you remember why you started your home based business? Was it to spend
more time with your family? Take care of your kids? Take more vacations? Give
more of your time to volunteering/ministry?
Think about your reasons. Have you accomplished those goals? Or has your
business kind of “taken over?”
Take some time to examine what your priorities really are, and if your life shows
that. We want to be sure our businesses are allowing us to do the things we
originally wanted to when we started it.
Our businesses do need time and care to make them grow and be successful. There
is no doubt about that. But we want to make sure that our priorities are straight and
that we are also giving time to the other things God has put on our hearts to do.
As we look at this verse in Matthew, I believe that God wants us to seek Him in
setting our goals and priorities. When we do, He promises to take care of
everything else.
Are your goals ones that you believe are from God? If so, make sure you are in
control of your business and not the other way around. It is so easy to let time get
eaten up by answering emails or social networking. I do both of those things, but we
need to keep them within reasonable limits.
If you started a home based business to spend more time with your kids and family,
is it working out that way? I can only say this because I have been there. I have to
re-examine my priorities from time to time and see if my life is lining up.
I hope you will do the same. Let your business be the blessing it can be.
Action step: Take some time to evaluate how you are doing with your goals and
priorities. What were the reasons you wanted to have a home based business? Are
those "reasons" a priority in your life now? Are you seeing the reality of your
dreams? If not, do some soul searching and spend time in prayer asking God to help
you reprioritize things in your life, so that you are truly seeking Him first and what
He wants you to be doing. Let Him bring you to the balance in your life He wants
for you.

Running a Business that Honors God
For more Biblical inspiration on running a business that honors God, visit:
http://www.christianhomebusinessconnection.com/christian-business-ethics.html
Day 4
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
As a business owner, you can run into all kinds of challenges and obstacles.
Here are just a few:
Technology!
Disgruntled customers/clients
Time constraints
Money constraints
The need to learn new things
and many more…
I know for me, technical issues can seem overwhelming, especially if I am trying
to work them out on my own. I love writing eBooks and reports, but when it
comes time to get all the "techie" stuff set up to actually sell my product,
frustration sets in.
How should we handle these challenges? If we look at this verse in Philippians,
we are reminded that we can handle these things, but not on our own – handle
them through Christ who will give you the strength. But, I believe, you need to
ask Him for it.
If your first reaction when one of the above scenarios presents itself, is to get all
discouraged or angry, take a step back. Spend some time praying, asking God
for His wisdom, strength and grace in dealing with the situation. I bet you will
see some differences.
Action step: What are some of the challenges with your business you are facing
right now? Do you feel frustrated or overwhelmed? Ask God for His wisdom
and strength to get through them. Remember, with God, nothing is impossible.
Luke 1:37

Running a Business that Honors God
For more Biblical inspiration on running a business that honors God, visit:
http://www.christianhomebusinessconnection.com/christian-business-ethics.html
Day 5
"Love suffers long and is kind." I Corinthians 13:4
How can we apply this verse to how we run our businesses?
I believe "Love suffers long" means being patient with others, whether it be an
employee or an irate customer. I don’t see any restrictions on this verse that
says that if someone treats you nicely, you need to love them. I think this
means EVERYONE.
Are there times you will need to be firm? Absolutely. Are there times you will
need to say no to someone? Yes. I like to think of it in terms of being a
parent. There are times you will have to deny your children something or be
firm with them. You don’t let them walk all over you. But you always LOVE
them and can respond to them with kindness.
I think we need to put this same principle into practice in our business. Treat
others with kindness and be patient with them, but don’t let them take
advantage of you. You don’t have to do everything people ask you to do, but
you can refuse kindly.
Working with others, whether it be customers, clients or employees always
opens the door up to challenges. People are people and may not always act the
way you would like them to. But the important thing is, what is your reaction?
You cannot control the way that others act to you, but you can control how you
treat them.
I know there are times we all fail at this, but I think we should set this as a goal
in how we run our businesses.
Action step: Think of how you have acted toward others you have had contact
with through your business. Would it fulfill "love suffers long and is kind?" If
not, pray for God's help and strength to act and react in a way that will be
pleasing to Him.

Running a Business that Honors God
For more Biblical inspiration on running a business that honors God, visit:
http://www.christianhomebusinessconnection.com/christian-business-ethics.html
Day 6
"Love does not envy" I Corinthians 13:4
As we relate this to our businesses, we need to ask ourselves if we envy
anyone else. At first glance, you may say no. But if you look deeper,
sometimes you find there is some envy going on when you see someone
else’s success. I know I have to admit I am guilty when it comes to this.
I may hear of another business owner who has a LOT more subscribers on
their email list than I do. Or they may make a lot more money. Or they may
have opportunities opened to them that I would love to have. All of these
things can make us feel envious, if we let it. We have to guard ourselves and
be truly happy for others when they achieve success.
I think one of the reasons why envy is warned against in the Bible is that it
makes us feel inferior. We begin to compare where we are with where others
are (or appear to be in our eyes) and we can come up short.
Comparisons can also cause ungratefulness. You might be very happy with
where you are in your business until someone else comes along that seems to
be doing better. All of a sudden, we’re not so happy anymore. We don't
feel very thankful for what we have because now we are looking at what we
don't have. We become discontented and frustrated. Not very godly
characteristics.
Isn’t is wonderful that God says all these things for our benefit? He knows
that if we give in to envy, we are going to suffer ourselves by bringing on the
feelings I talked about above. We have a GREAT God who is always
looking out for our best!
Action step: Do an attitude check the next time you hear of someone else's
business that appears to be better than yours in some way. It could be they
are making more money or doing something you think you would like better
than what you are currently doing. How does it make you feel? If you notice
feelings of ungratefulness or inferiority creeping in, repent and ask God to
help you be more thankful and appreciative with where you are.

Running a Business that Honors God
For more Biblical inspiration on running a business that honors God, visit:
http://www.christianhomebusinessconnection.com/christian-business-ethics.html
Day 7
"Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up."
James 4:10
We are told to be humble. Being humble doesn't mean being a doormat and
letting people take advantage of you. On the contrary, being humble takes
strength. It takes acknowledging our limitations and that God is the one who
helps us succeed.
Pride can be a destroyer of relationships and of our own success, if we let it
be. We are never meant to parade ourselves in arrogance before anyone. You
might say, "I would never do that." But let's look a little deeper.
Have you ever been glad someone else has noticed your success? Have you
ever gotten impatient with someone because they do not know what you
know? Maybe you like to hang with the "gurus" because of the status it gives
you. I don't believe these are very good indicators of humility.
This might seem like I'm going to extremes, but we have to be very careful
about not letting pride enter in. I have seen in my own life, how pride can
come in so quickly and in so many ways. And it sets us up to fail. Proverbs
16:18 says "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."
Being humble means looking to God for help, and going ahead and doing our
part. It is acknowledging that we cannot do it on our own, but only with
God's help. When success comes, do we pat ourselves on the back or get on
our knees and thank God for it? Being humble is an attitude of the heart and
it is a very safe place to be.
Action step: What is the attitude of your heart? Pride can come in so subtly
at times, that we really need to examine our attitudes from time to time. If
you notice there is pride, confess it and ask God to help you have a humble
heart.

Running a Business that Honors God
For more Biblical inspiration on running a business that honors God, visit:
http://www.christianhomebusinessconnection.com/christian-business-ethics.html
Day 8
"Love...does not behave rudely." I Corinthians 13:4-5
This encompasses all areas of our lives, but in this devotional, I want to stick to
running our businesses.
What does behaving rudely mean? Here are some definitions of rude I found -
disrespectful, rough, exhibiting unkind behavior or words, impolite, bad-mannered.
Some synonyms were abrupt, inconsiderate, insulting, sarcastic.
(http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/rude and
http://encarta.msn.com/thesaurus_561586689/rude.html)
When we look at these definitions and synonyms, that opens up a lot of behaviors.
Do you speak unkind words or act impolitely to your customers or employees? I
know we all have bad days. That's not what I am talking about. Is this ongoing
behavior for you?
Do you notice any of these behaviors in you? Do you find yourself being impolite
or saying unkind things back to an unhappy customer? Do you treat your employees
disrespectfully or abruptly when trying to explain what you want done for the
second or third time?
I have heard some people say "It's just my way - I tend to be sarcastic." I don't think
that is a very good reason. It's giving an excuse, but excuses will not go very far
with God.
Make it your aim to treat others with respect and kindness. Speak to them with
gentleness and humility. Yes, you will be tested by others in this who may not care
if they act rudely or not. Raise the bar and they just might notice the difference.
Action step: Take inventory of your attitudes as you interact with others in your
business. Are they what they should be? Are you speaking words of kindness and
being patient? Are you respectful of those you work with? If not, seek help from
God to do better.

Running a Business that Honors God
For more Biblical inspiration on running a business that honors God, visit:
http://www.christianhomebusinessconnection.com/christian-business-ethics.html
Day 9
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each
esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests,
but also for the interests of others.”
Philippians 2:3-4
As business owners, sometimes we must make a choice of whether to do something that will
be good for us or for someone else. I hope, when confronted with this choice, you will
consider the above verse from Philippians.
Here we are exhorted to do nothing out of selfishness. Yes, we need to do things to better
our businesses - that is absolutely essential. But, when faced with decisions of doing
something for ourselves or for the good of someone else, we need to choose the latter.
Let's say you have the chance to make a sale, but you know deep down that it is not the best
choice for the person wanting to buy it. Do you let them go ahead and buy it? Or should you
be honest with them and let them know this is not be what they need? I know we all know
the answer to that.
Do you praise yourself and not give credit to others when it is due? We all want to be well
thought of, but sing the praises of others when you have the opportunity. Be generous with
your compliments and referrals. I am not suggesting sending your customers away, but when
you cannot fill a need, refer them to someone who can. That would be in their best interest.
If you are in a direct sales or network marketing type of business, do you sign up recruits so
you can expand your team, whether or not it is really a good opportunity for the person
signing up?
The "WWJD" bracelets were very popular a few years ago. But that is not just a cliché
saying. It really should be our barometer for making choices and decisions. How would
Jesus run a business?
Putting others before yourself will not only please and honor God, but it will make you stand
out from the other businesses in your field. When you bless others, you will be blessed too.
Action step: Do you hold on so tightly to customers that you end up selling them something
that isn't really what they need, just so you can keep them with you or just to make a sale?
Try to develop the attitude described in Philippians 2. When you do, customers will
undoubtedly respect you more and will refer you to those you can help.

Running a Business that Honors God
For more Biblical inspiration on running a business that honors God, visit:
http://www.christianhomebusinessconnection.com/christian-business-ethics.html
Day 10
"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." I
Thessalonians 5:18
Remember to thank God for your business along with the other things and people in your
life. He wants us to appreciate what He gives us and it is good to daily give Him thanks.
It is easy to forget when we get busy or when our businesses are going less than perfect.
There will be days when you aren't too sure how thankful you really are for your
business:-) But give thanks anyway "in everything."
When we are facing challenges in our business, such as technical issues, unhappy
customers, or a lack of business, we can thank God that we have a business at all. If there
are specific issues that are challenging, ask Him for help. He has the answers you need.
James 1:5 says, "if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all
liberally..." Bring your concerns to Him and be thankful that you can leave them there
and that He will give you wisdom in the situation.
When you begin to give Him thanks, your attitude will shortly follow. You will soon be
actually feeling thankful again.
It is a huge blessing to me to be able to run my own business. It offers freedom and
flexibility that a 9 to 5 job does not allow. But I also have a responsibility to run my
business in a way that God is happy with.
Action step: Spend some time reflecting on what your business has meant to you. Also,
imagine what your life would be like if it were different - say, going to a 9 to 5 job
everyday.
Begin thanking God each day for your business and all that that means. Does it mean you
can be home with your kids? Does it mean you are not so strapped financially, alleviating
stress in your marriage/family? Meditate on what having a business has done for you and
thank Him for it.

Running a Business that Honors God
For more Biblical inspiration on running a business that honors God, visit:
http://www.christianhomebusinessconnection.com/christian-business-ethics.html
Author Information:
Laurie Neumann is the owner of:
http://www.christianhomebusinessconnection.com
http://www.legitimate-homebasedbusinesses.com
http://www.realtelecommutingjobs.com