In 2008, just 3 years after starting my partnership, I began my spiritual revolution. I grew up Catholic, and after confirmation I really didn’t have much interest in church. Like most boys growing up in Miami, the girls and nightclubs are more tantalizing to our souls. But in 2008 a friend of mine invited me to a Christian non-denominational church and I was hooked!
I started growing in my relationship with God. My heart was changing, my thoughts were changing, and the way I viewed people and my business were changing.
I’d like to tell you that my partners were happy for me and everything was peaches and cream, but nothing could be further from the truth. Because I was walking in one direction and the other was walking opposite, making business decisions became challenging. I was serving a new CEO above me that wanted things to be different.
To please my partners, I sacrificed my new thoughts in hopes of keeping the peace and moving forward. I convinced myself that when its business, God is out, but for my personal life, I was going to grow with God.
Essentially, I was living a double life.
Sometimes in partnerships we’re put into situations where one person is a believer and the other isn’t. Or maybe it’s two Christians, but one isn’t walking as close to God as the other. We begin to experience moral and ethical problems. Business is like a marriage, and being married to someone that’s reading a different book can be challenging!
So where do we go from here? Certainly we don’t just bow out and give up the business, right? We can’t just sacrifice all we’ve done to create the business, correct?
God’s ways are different, contrariant in nature. The opposite is true. In fact, God wants you to get deeper into the business partnership, but He wants it done out of sacrifice to Him.
Romans 12:2 says
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
This verse is TOP 5 verses of the Bible that I hold on to and live by every day. Wherever we are at in our lives, God wants us to think like him and sacrifice the old ways in which we thought.
The relational problems that arise from my business partnerships used to deeply trouble me until I wrapped my head around the concept of sacrificing everything I used to think in order to think like Jesus would. This helped me to see my partners not as ‘opposite’ of me, but as brothers that I love.
You can choose to focus on your partners and the problems, or you can choose to focus on sacrificing your thoughts and replacing them with God’s thoughts. Let love shine through from God to your business, your partnership, your clients, your services, and your employees.
As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13, genuine love is all about giving of oneself. However, the pattern of capitalism in the business world is selfish. If we’re conformed to it, we might try “sacrificing” to gain something, be it happiness, acclaim, self-worth, or in my case keeping peace with my partners. But true sacrifice involves giving up selfish desire for selfless love.
Sacrifice in business requires balancing our hopes of success and wealth with the understanding that those hopes are not the focus. True sacrifice involves a greater goal than we gain personally or relationally. As Jesus’ life demonstrates, sacrificing must be about living to serve God, even as we seek to serve our business partners and others for him.