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Five Principles of Biblical Stewardship for Your Small Business
Stewardship is a biblical perspective that can be applied to your business. Stewardship simply means managing possessions and property that are not yours. You may say, "My business belongs to me." According to Psalm 24:1, the earth and everything on it belong to the LORD. The world and its people belong to him (CEV). Based on this scripture, your business belongs to God; therefore, you are a steward managing his business. He has blessed you with the talents, time, and treasures that you need to properly manage that which you are responsible for.
There are five principles of biblical stewardship: persistence, planning, proportionate, pleasantness, and purpose. Let's see how we can apply them to your (God's) business.
Persistence: Scripture teaches us that faithfulness is a necessary quality to possess as a steward. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful (I Corinthians 4:2 KJV). Being persistent and dependable is viewed as being faithful. If you have any doubts, you can't move forward in your business. You have to believe it to achieve it. You have faith that you can be a successful entrepreneur and small business owner; therefore, you are persistent in making it happen.
Another symbol of your faith is your dependability. Your business is not fly-by-night; you are in it for the long haul. Your clients can depend on you being there and not skipping town. Also, they can depend on you to be faithful in completing their projects and tasks.
Planning: God wants everything to be done peacefully and in order (I Corinthians 14:33 CEV). Planning goes without saying in any size or type of business. It is highly advisable to have a business plan as entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as a marketing plan. A plan will keep you focused and on track; therefore, your business plans will be accomplished peacefully and in order.
Proportionate: If God has been generous with you, he will expect you to serve him well. But if he has been more than generous, he will expect you to serve him even better (I Corinthians 16:2 CEV). The proportion of talents, time, and treasures God blesses you with will determine what services and/or products you will offer to your target market. Remember, He gives you what you need to be good stewards. At the same time, you are serving God by providing your clients with excellent service and/or products, which come from your proportion of talents, time and treasures that He has given you.
Pleasantness: Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don't feel sorry that you must give and don't feel that you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give (II Corinthians 9:7 CEV). Be pleasant in your business dealings, especially with your clients. It's what's known as providing excellent customer service. Don't force it, give your pleasantness freely. Your clients would much rather conduct business with someone who is pleasant rather than with someone who is rude. Do to others as you would have them do to you (Luke 6:31 NIV). When completing their projects and tasks, do it cheerfully. God sent you that client as a way of providing you with treasures.
Purposeful: When you eat or drink or do anything else, always do it to honor God (I Corinthians 10:31 CEV). As a steward over God's business, it's important to honor Him by operating it with honesty and integrity. I remember reading in "The Prayer of Jabez," written by Bruce Wilkinson where Bruce was having a conversation with some business executives. One of the executives asked Bruce, "Is it right to ask God for more business?" Bruce responded, "Absolutely! If you're doing your business God's way, it's not only right to ask for more, but He is waiting for you to ask."
Conclusion: Biblical stewardship deals with use of your money; however, it is a perspective that covers your entire life, including your business. As I have pointed out, the five principles of biblical stewardship can be applied to your business. This should be our business plan as entrepreneurs and small business owners. From time to time, we need to refer back to our plans to ensure we are on the right track. God has entrusted his business to you by appointing you as steward to manage it. The more God bless your (His) business, the more He wants you to bless individuals, the community and the world at large. This style of stewardship will bring honor and glory to His name. It is also a manner of serving God.
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