Are you judging yourself?
So I realised I’ve recently been doing the very thing I used to roll my eyes at…
And I must admit, the result hasn’t been fun. The result has been stagnancy, complacency and whole heap of resistance.
You see, when I used to teach High School, I’d often sit in church on Sundays and wonder why the messages weren’t more applicable to someone like me who, on a Monday morning, wasn’t going to be in a church environment at all but rather, was headed into a week of hard work which featured very little mention of God at all.
Again on Sunday mornings, the missionaries who’d just come back from somewhere else in the world would come up and share powerful stories of transformation in the lands they’d been ministering to. The evangelists would share incredible conversion stories and we’d cheer and clap. I’d feel like I’d made a difference the week before in the lives of the students was teaching, but I’d somehow find there to be a disconnect in that and the sort of difference which had people come to the pulpit to talk about it.
To be honest, I’d feel frustrated. I’d question whether my work was ‘spiritual’ enough. I even met with my previous pastor to talk about whether I could just be a teacher as opposed to something more obviously ‘Christian.’ And yes you’re right, that last sentence makes NO sense. Because aren’t we supposed to be salt & light? Aren’t we supposed to share the love of Jesus to a world which is hurting? How’s that going to happen if we’ve all got ‘churchy’ jobs? In fact, I tweeted rapper Lecrae about this very matter back in 2012 and here’s what he had to say…
Anyway, as I said, I started thinking the same thoughts I used to think all those years ago recently and it’s only been the last day or two that I’ve stopped myself and realised where the stagnancy has been stemming from.
I’ve been judging myself for being a Christian in business.
Not consciously perhaps. Because I’m still visible all the time, I’m still coaching my clients and I’m still dreaming up ideas for new content I want to create. I’m still number crunching and thinking about how much more my business needs to grow in order to see God’s purpose, mission and vision for my life come to pass. I’m only just scratching the surface to be honest…
And so, with all of these thoughts whirring through my mind pretty consistently, I started to ask myself whether I was somehow becoming less ‘spiritual’ in becoming more business-minded. It’s all nonsense though really because when I’ve consistently been thinking about an initiative we’re running at church or a ministry opportunity, I don’t bat an eyelid. I allow myself to think about those things without guilt all I want because they’re the ‘spiritual’ things, right?
Wrong. Very, very wrong.
We’re called to be kingdom-minded, not church minded.
Kingdom is literally defined as the spiritual reign or authority of God. And guess what? God doesn’t only rule and reign at church on Sunday. He reigns as He moves through the believer at their 9-5, as they build their businesses, stay at home to take care of their kids and in the church staff teams.
The separation is one which we’ve created (and one we keep creating). It’s one which isn’t actually there.
Acts 16:4a says: “One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God…”
Lydia is described as a business woman who also happened to be a worshipper of God. She ended up hosting Jesus and His disciples in her home because of the resources she had which allowed her to do so. There was no uproar, no panic, no suggestion that she stop selling cloth immediately and become a worship leader.
When we create this false dichotomy between everything else vs church jobs only, we do our creativity, gifts, imaginations and beyond a huge disservice.
I was recently stunned to hear, for example, that when John Maxwell opened up an optional, early-morning Bible study for the delegates he had at a (non-Christian) conference he was hosting, hundreds attended and many gave their life to Christ. I doubt he’d have had the same response if he wasn’t already influential in the world.
It’s time to step outside of the box.
At least, it is for me anyway. The box which most definitely confines my thinking if not my actions and causes me to play smaller than my calling requires of me. I’m sure you can relate.
So while I’ve been here wondering and quite frankly OVER THINKING whether I can do that, say this or sell the other, I’ve been stopping myself for fear of not being spiritual enough… no, not BEING, it’s actually a fear around SEEMING spiritual enough because yet again I’m allowing myself to care way too much about what everyone by God thinks.
In terms of what God thinks, he’s made it pretty clear I’m not meant to have a ‘churchy’ job. Even when I desperately wanted one and tried to have one after 7 years as a teacher, it didn’t work out and I was led to embark on the business building thing. Years later, I’m still here. (Whilst actively volunteering in church multiple days a week by the way, because why would you not?! That’s family.)
This message is for me as much as it is for you. I had to get my heart out on paper as I often do. But I figured you might find it helpful too if you’ve been waiting for permission to be everything you’re meant to be.
You don’t have to worry about losing your spiritual ‘edge’ by the way, not if you’re remaining rooted in Christ (John 15 style) with every step. When I was teacher I set up Christian Unions, I got the students to put on plays which had Biblical narratives… it’s because it’s ALL a part of who I am. The same goes for business. I mobilise Christian women (who knows, that might expand one day too) to be ALL THEY HAVE BEEN CALLED TO BE whether they’re actively sharing Jesus with their work or subconsciously doing it simply because of who they are. It’s all relevant, it’s all needed.
I will no longer apologise (namely to myself) for being a great Entrepreneur with and even better God to Whom belongs all the glory.
We don’t GO to church. We ARE the church.
The world is waiting for your work.
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HEY! I’m Naomi, Business Coach for High-Level Female Entrepreneurs & Founder of Living Word League.
I coach, write, teach and run programs which infuse practical strategies with Biblical principles (which I personally think is the best rule of thumb for success.) I moved from a 7-year High School teaching career, to building and scaling my business after starting out as a hobby-status blogger in 2011. Within months, I was able to go totally full time and haven't looked back. My success, as someone who previously would have never seen myself as an entrepreneur means that I'm now beyond passionate about business being an expression of Kingdom-building here on earth. Hobby status and inconsistent feast to famine months aren't cutting it for you anymore right? You're meant for a business which has faith as your foundation AND soars with success. That's where I come in.
Click HERE to learn more about working with me.