We are all familiar with the parable of the house built on the sand – you know, the man built his house on the sand and when the storm came it beat on that house and the house fell down. You can find it in Matthew 7:24-27.
Jesus says if we build on the Rock our house will withstand the storm. The house is a representation of our lives, but have we ever stopped to think about how it relates to our business?
In kingdom business there is no separation of the life and the business. In my role as a minister I often get asked to go and pray over the launch of a business because the owner naturally wants it to be blessed. Instead I always feel the need to refer to the life of the person: Is your life grounded in Christ? Is it built on the right foundation? That is of utmost importance because the blessing of the business will come out of the blessing on your life. When God blesses your life, He doesn’t compartmentalise it: He blesses it all!
Conversely, if your life is built on a suspect foundation then no amount of prayer is going to help you, until you change the foundation.
Business foundations built on the Word of God
The foundation of our lives is made up of the beliefs, values and experiences we hold.
So a right foundation must first begin with our lives in Christ. If that foundation is set right then the values, beliefs and experiences that make up this foundation will impact the choices, decisions and directions we make and take.
In engineering terms, the foundation is “the portion of a building’s structure that transfers the weight of the building (walls, beams, columns, roof) into the ground strata”.
You can look at the walls, beams, columns and roof as aspects of your life or your business. Build it on the Word of God and it will bear the business well.
Differential settlement is when one part of a foundation settles more than another part. This is the result of foundations made from different materials. For example, a foundation built on trends and gossip is a volatile foundation; it changes depending on what’s current. It’s a feeble foundation.
Avoiding ‘mixed’ foundations
Deeper foundations are those made of well-established and tested materials – ideas, concepts and historical facts that have solid grounding.
The foundation that is Jesus Christ is the surest foundation we can have, but we can unknowingly mix the material with other sources that originate elsewhere. It isn’t so much about what it is but whether it comes from Christ or not.
So if we think about the origination of the materials we use to build the foundations of our lives or those we mix with the teachings of Christ it will help us to understand how the material of our foundations can become polluted, diluted and weakened. Jesus told the Pharisees that they had “made the commandment of God of none effect” by their traditions.
This can cause problems to the structure. Engineers must ensure that a foundation is not loaded beyond its bearing capacity or the foundation will “fail”. In the same way, if we try to build a secure business on a foundation that cannot bear it, it will fail.
We therefore need to have proper procedures in place to ensure the efficiency of operations, like making sure we have good before and after care services in place for customers, that employees are clear about what is expected of them and can make good decisions without always having to consult us first, that we have in place a clear set of guidelines to help us make sound purchasing decisions.
And are we charging a fair price for our goods and services? We often look at this as making sure we are not overcharging, but we need to ensure we aren’t also undermining the value of what we have been given by God by undercharging either. As well as walls, beams and roof, we should look at the doors and windows as the presentation of and access to the business.
The present season is a good time to take a look at the foundations of businesses and to ask ourselves whether the beliefs, values and experiences we hold about the word of God are being carried through to the way we run our businesses. Can they been seen the walls, beams, columns and roof? If not, now is the best time to do something about it.