I've been writing a lot about entrepreneurship in the spirit - how to be fully present with the holy spirit and engaged in the right here and right now of what God wants me to do.
Along my journey to stay present, I discovered that most of the anxiety, pain, and feelings of sadness I feel as an entrepreneur are caused by the enemy's control over my mind throughout the day.
However, I also discovered that even if I run my business entirely in the present, some feelings of sadness and pain are simply unavoidable - like the pain inflicted by others or the pain of a failed business venture.
While it’s true that most pain we feel as entrepreneurs is self-created, that doesn’t mean we create all of it. For example, suppose a client isn't close to Christ and uses their destructive mind to hurl insults or deliberately do something that negatively affects our business. In that case, the pain we feel is unavoidable. As much as we'd like, we cannot lead everyone around us to enlightenment.
Another unavoidable pain is the pain of losing a business venture. The pandemic caused many businesses to have to shut down permanently. Years of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears all ripped away suddenly. The dominoes fall and lead to debt, confusion, and an identity crisis. This pain was unavoidable.
So what should we do with the pain we can't avoid along our entrepreneurial journey? Just suppress the feelings and pretend that everything is ok? That doesn't sound right.
What does the Bible say about unavoidable pain?
Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 NLT says
Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked? Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.
As good a shelter as God's wisdom is, it cannot shield from every possible painful event one might experience in life. Everybody faces such situations. The wisdom Solomon teaches here is to resign to the circumstances by submitting that there are times that nothing can be done to avoid certain problems.
Because there are things, God is doing that you can't understand right now, and since the Holy Spirit is your connection to God, you must focus your present thoughts on the Spirit's understanding of this truth. This will, therefore, take you from negative thoughts to positive peace in the present.
When unavoidable pain shows up in the form of having to shut our businesses down, you have to discern the time, resign yourself to it, and gracefully and humbly accept it, allowing God to work out His purpose without complaint. This is the Biblical way of dealing with unavoidable pain.
The flip side of not accepting things as they are is allowing the business shutdown to depress you and dominate your thoughts to such an extent that you do virtually nothing positive about the things you can change. Instead of surrendering to God and communing in the presence of the Holy Spirit, you've fed the enemy in the mind, which causes anxiety and depression. That is when Satan wins because, having put yourself into a weakened attitude, you more readily cave to his devices.
As Godpreneurs, Solomon essentially counsels us to learn to “roll with the punches.” We took a risk to start a business, things didn't go as planned, and we must make careful efforts to make the best of the situation, understanding that God has seemingly shut the venture down for our good. This is the peace only entrepreneurship in the spirit can give.
God has commanded that we business owners must live by faith. The enemy will nag us to try to figure out the precise reasons for the failed business. It's futile to mull over it - a huge waste of time and energy robbed from the gift of being present with the Lord. This wisdom may not satisfy some entrepreneurs because of its simplicity, but it is right: Trust God!