Suppressing the Entrepreneur's Ego, God's Way

Updated: Jan 30



A friend of mine once gave me a powerful metaphor that I've never forgotten. He said,


Alex, everyone has two wolves in their minds: a good wolf and a bad wolf. Every day, every waking moment, they are battling each other. The one that WINS is the one WE feed.


I've never let go of this vivid image. I've taken the story further in my mind. I've imagined a cage in a dark dungeon in my mind with a huge padlock. Inside this cage is a starved, skinny, frail, near-death bad, bad wolf. This wolf is so weak; he can't even stand up. Any moment, he could die.


But the bad wolf never dies. Why? Because every once in a while, I throw it a bone.


If we are staying present and at the moment is great for us business owners, but not if that present moment is being controlled by the bad wolf - the enemy's way of starving the good wolf and feeding itself.


No entrepreneur wants to be miserable, yet many of us are unhappy for short or long periods. The cause of this is the enemy's control of our present moment - instead of the Holy Spirit.


Scientists call this culprit the "ego." Psychology has described it as a part of your mind that controls our thoughts and behavior without us noticing.


Since we cannot easily observe the "ego," most entrepreneurs don’t know the extent to which the enemy takes control at certain moments in our businesses. For example, if we later reflect on a dispute with a business partner or employee, we may notice (and perhaps regret) that we overreacted. Yet, we simply weren’t aware of anything influencing or controlling our thinking and behavior in the thick of the dispute.


In the Spirit, we would NOT have reacted that way. Impossible. But the enemy came to rob us of our PRESENT joy and happiness and replace it with depression, anger, fear, pride, and a host of other synonymously negative thoughts.


The Bible and Ego


Concepts of "ego" appear in the Bible; however, the word does not appear because psychology needed to make up to scientifically explain the spiritual enemy.


An inflated sense of self is shown to be destructive throughout the Bible. One early example is when Lucifer wanted to be at the same level as God. Because of his inflated ego, he became Satan and was banished from heaven. Lucifer was transformed by Pride (Isaiah 14:13–15). Then, in the garden of Eden, Satan deceived and tempted Eve by telling her that she could be like God (Genesis 3:4–6).


The Dangers of the Enemy (Ego)


The danger for entrepreneurs is that because we often run the day-to-day operations of our businesses as "the boss," we generally have an exaggerated sense of self-importance because we need to protect our investment and provide for our families. The entrepreneur's - often unconscious - focus on our own financial and societal security results is an excessive preoccupation with “self." This means that we can crowd out the holy spirit during our day, allowing the enemy to take control even without wanting.


Why does the enemy do this? It depends on our misery for its present existence, so it obstructs today's happiness at every turn, acting against our own best interests every hour of the day.


The enemy's existence as a destructive part of our daily mindset that produces misery would explain why so many entrepreneurs suffer, despite our only wanting to live an unhappy business life. And left unchecked, under the present control of the enemy, some entrepreneurs will intentionally sabotage their happiness by deciding to stay in profoundly destructive business partnerships, painful client relationships, or failing businesses that aren't in their calling.


The enemy attacks our present moment by leading us into conflict situations with others and makes us unhappy with our current situation so that it can gain control over our behavior and thinking.


For example, in business, whenever two or more people under the control of their enemy (ego) come together, drama ensues – as can be seen in contract conflicts or social media spats. While even well-meaning Christian entrepreneurs may want to work together peacefully, the enemy inside each takes control of the present moment (over the holy spirit) and annoys them at trivialities, and causes them to overreact. If we find ourselves suddenly in a fiery debate over a minor issue, like who should follow up with the client or whether a certain plan is good or not, this is probably the work of the enemy.


Instant gratification is another way the enemy robs an entrepreneur of their present moment holy spirit. All the various forms of modern idolatry in entrepreneurship have a self at their very core and glorify instant (present moment) gratification. The dark forces of this age have convinced a new generation of entrepreneurs that contentment is achieved only by immediately satisfying the urges of the self (yolo). And we can trace this back to the Garden of Eden, where Eve became stirred by Satan’s lie that she could “be like God” (Genesis 3:5).



How to Battle the Enemy


Dying to self is the polar opposite of ego. This is the biblical model for Christian entrepreneurs to stay present with the holy spirit as the moment-to-moment guide of our days.


The Bible is filled with admonitions against the self because of a businessman's inherent desire to worship (especially prevalent in personal branding). The Bible calls us to die to ourselves that we may live in Christ:


"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

This doesn't mean that we cease to be unique individuals or to have a sense of self. But it means that we are no longer prideful or self-obsessed. Instead, our primary identity is founded in the truth of Christ, and our lives are lived in the present by His power, for His glory, and through the HOLY SPIRIT.


The enemy is a destructive part of the entrepreneur's mindset and, therefore, the overall business. It wants to rob you of your present relationship with your holy spirit be the most important part of you. The enemy knows no limits, so it will bring you much suffering if you let it gain control.


However, if we fix our eyes on Jesus and focus on becoming more like him, we feed the holy spirit, starve the enemy, and begin to live in communion with God in the present moment - the only moment God wants us to live in.


 

P.S. I did a Business bible study called 7 Steps to Launching Your Christian Personal Brand. Check it out: