Most people – including Christians – don’t question the assumption that the larger a business is, the more successful it is. Larger profits, in terms of raw dollars, is thought to be equated with greater success. And if one were to consider only profits as the sole measure of any business, then the logical conclusion would be simple: more profits equals more success.
I’m not sure where our drive to be successful comes from. It seems to be driven by instinct – at least for some. Perhaps it’s part of our basic need of self-preservation, yet it seems clear to me that some are far more driven to succeed than others.
It also seems to me that the Bible emphasizes faithfulness, not success. Indeed, in Matthew 25 (and Luke 19), in the parable of the talents, the reward for “success” – multiplying that which God has given to you – was based on their faithfulness to multiply, not specifically on how much they multiplied. When God praised Job, He called out Job’s faithfulness, not his wealth (Job 1.8). And in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ’s struggle was not about success, but about being faithful to the call that God had placed on His life to offer himself as a sacrifice for our sin.
On this site, we postulate that God created business with four distinct purposes in mind: Products, Passions, Profits and Philanthropy. Success is measured, then, by faithfulness in fulfilling these purposes, regardless of whether your business is $500K/year or $500M/year. It’s not the size of your business that matters to God as much as your faithfulness to Him during times of plenty and prosperity. Christian Business Owners will focus on walking closely with God so they can fulfill these purposes and God’s call on their lives. They will focus on giving God an ROI that is in line with that of Matthew 25 and Luke 19. And they will refrain from comparing themselves with others who own larger or smaller businesses. Doing so latter leads only to arrogance, jealousy, grumbling and other sin. The Apostle John called is correctly: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Comparing ourselves to other Christian Business Owners will do little to encourage us in our call to be faithful to God.
Success isn’t measured by the size of your business. Keep this in mind the next time you’re tempted to assume that the larger the business, the more successful it is.
Associate, The Platinum Group