I can point to many people – including myself – who have committed significant sin (or at a minimum, have been involved in sin) who feel that after gaining God’s forgiveness, they were still put on a shelf in terms of their usefulness in serving God. I recall after my divorce in the early 90’s that I felt as if God had placed me on indefinite leave from ministry. I had been put “out to pasture”, “placed on the bench” or “put on the shelf” until sufficient time had passed from my divorce that I was considered ready to be used by God. Little did I know it would be over 10 years before I was teaching again.
The hard part was that I knew I was called to preach, teach and write. I had graduated from seminary and had God’s call (or so I thought). But that didn’t matter to my denomination – they essentially revoked my ministerial licensing. But God’s call on my life for public speaking and writing was still with me. Frankly, it’s difficult to live with a call when you can’t fulfill it.
I was encouraged one day by a pastor who reminded me that in Romans 11.29, Paul wrote this: “for God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.” Some will explain this away and say that some sin (like a divorce) permanently removes God’s call on your life, but they’ll have a hard time explaining that in light of this passage.
Christian business owners are not better than anyone else – we’re just forgiven. Temptations abound for the Christian business owner – greed, lust, pride, love of money, love of status and so forth. In some ways, our temptations are more intense and more varied than those who don’t own businesses because of our unique stewardship responsibilities before the Lord and our unique opportunities to penetrate a lost and dying world with the light of Jesus Christ.
If you’re a Christian business owner – take heart! No matter your sin, God’s call on your life to own and run a business is irrevocable. His gifting in your life is not diminished just because you have sinned (perhaps greatly). God’s call to steward a business, to create profit for the Kingdom, to provide products and services that enable the community to flourish, to give employees a way to express their God-given talents and creativities and to give your profits away for the sake of the Kingdom – all of this is still a call on your life.
God may take you through an extended “pit stop” because of your sin. But as you walk in holiness, he will “heal your land” (2 Chronicles 7.14) and will restore you to service in His kingdom (Romans 8.28). In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart – Jesus Christ has overcome the world! (John 16).