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The 7 Habits: Godpreneurs Sharpen the Saw


This post is the 10th (and final) in a series of posts where I've been studying the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey from a Christian entrepreneur’s perspective, and I'm summarizing and Biblically backing up each of the seven habits. Scroll to the end of this article for links to the entire series.

 

Welcome back to my series that summarizes and gives a Biblical perspective to each of the seven habits laid out in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.


We now come to the 7th and final habit, which is my favorite habit: sharpening the saw. For entrepreneurs, this habit is all about pausing on work to take care of yourself.


This blog, Daily Godpreneur, is a testament to my habit of sharpening my saw. Back in 2014, I realized that my personal development was more important than developing a business idea. If I spent all of my time working and never paused to exercise, meditate, write my blogs, and go to church, I would become a burned out entrepreneur. My clients, employees, vendors, and business partners wouldn't have the same Alex that they are able to interact with.


I've proven that if I don't get my Bible reading and blogging done in the morning, I'm a different person throughout the day. I'm more irritable and short with people. I'm not as loving and patient. My wife and my employees notice.


The same phenomenon happens with my fitness and eating. If I don't work out, I feel lethargic. If I don't eat right during the day, I feel unhealthy.


As Christian entrepreneurs, if we never pause to take care of ourselves, any gains in effectiveness we achieve will be short-lived, for we'll soon exhaust ourselves and we won’t be able to maintain any of the other 6 habits that we previously learned about.


When we entrepreneurs fail to work on sharpening our spiritual, physical, social, and emotional parts of our lives, we become unbalanced and it shows up in the form of conflict with business partners and employees, inability to find creative solutions to problems, and missed opportunities.


This is why “sharpening your saw” isn't just a great idea that Covey came up with, it's a Biblical mandate given by God. The Bible has many passages that speak to personal growth and development, as well as the importance of taking care of oneself and cultivating a healthy inner life.


Covey says that when it comes to our personal lives, we should focus on four domains: physical, spiritual, mental, and social/emotional. Let's see what the Bible has to say about what's essential for lasting effectiveness in each of these four key dimensions of our entrepreneurial lives.


Food and Exercise


The Bible emphasizes the importance of caring for our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This means that we should make wise choices when it comes to what we eat and how we treat our bodies.


For you to perform at your highest capacity - the natural state that God created you in - you need to stay physically fit by exercising regularly, eating healthily and avoiding undue stress.


Spiritual Health


Mr. Covey is Mormon and he clearly recognizes that your spiritual health also contributes to lasting effectiveness.


The Bible teaches that personal growth and development in spiritual health involves seeking God first, renewing your mind, growing in knowledge, developing spiritual disciplines, being accountable, serving others, and trusting in God.


"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33).


You should be seeking God first before starting the work day. Your God-First business model depends on this. I suggest my devotionals at Godpreneur Academy. It could also be just praying or meditating.


Mental Health


Mr. Covey teaches that to stay mentally healthy, read plenty of good books, avoid spending too much time in front of your television screen and make time for your own writing in some form – be it letters or poetry or a diary. Organizing and planning things are also good exercises to keep your mind sharp and fresh.


King David is known for his musical abilities and wrote many of the psalms found in the book of Psalms. Even though he was a king and had many responsibilities, he took time to write and play music.


Luke was a physician and writer who wrote the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. Even though he had a demanding profession, he took the time to write and share his faith through his writing.


These examples suggest that it is possible for you to pursue other activities while still fulfilling your business responsibilities.



Emotional Health


Lastly, Mr. Covey teaches that it’s important to take care of your social and emotional health by deliberately seeking to understand others, building positive relationships with them and working on projects that help improve their lives.


Throughout the Gospels, Jesus models the importance of building positive relationships with others and working to improve their lives. He spends time with people from all walks of life, showing them love, compassion, and empathy.


The apostles stress the importance of meeting together regularly with other believers, being equipped by leaders in the church, encouraging and supporting one another, and using our gifts and abilities to serve the body of Christ.


Hebrews 10:24-25 says

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

Being involved in a church and Christian community is not only beneficial for our own spiritual growth, but it also helps to strengthen and build up the entire body of Christ.


When we model Jesus in this area, we are improving our emotional and social health. This, in turn, helps us show up to our business ventures in a more highly productive way.



Sharpening the Saw - Conclusion

Mr. Covey teaches that by sharpening our saws, we consciously make time to recuperate and recharge. Us entrepreneurs sometimes claim we can’t find time for this, but in the long-term, it’s essential for sustained effectiveness in our businesses and the rewards in productivity and well-being that come with it.


Similarly, the Bible encourages individuals to prioritize their inner lives and cultivate habits that lead to personal growth and development, including self-discipline in the areas of physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional health. By doing so, individuals can better align themselves with God's will and live a fulfilling, purposeful life.


Imagine if we all made sure you truly sharpen our saw and implemented activities that could contribute to our well-being in each of the four dimensions.



Final Summary


So, what can a Christian entrepreneur learn from reading the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? How do the principles by the author compare to biblical principles?


What I discovered in my time combing through the principles presented by Mr. Covey is that Christian entrepreneurs can learn from the book in several ways. The following are some of the things that a Christian entrepreneur can learn from reading this book:


  1. Proactivity: Covey emphasizes that effective people take responsibility for their lives and focus on what they can control. This aligns with the biblical principle of taking responsibility for one's actions and not blaming others for one's problems.

  2. Begin with the end in mind: Covey advocates that one should begin with a clear vision of what they want to achieve in life. This is similar to the biblical principle of setting goals and having a sense of purpose in life.

  3. Put first things first: Covey emphasizes the importance of prioritizing and focusing on the most important things in life. This aligns with the biblical principle of seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

  4. Think win-win: Covey emphasizes that successful relationships are built on mutual benefit and that we should seek solutions that benefit everyone involved. This is similar to the biblical principle of loving one's neighbor as oneself (Mark 12:31).

  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood: Covey emphasizes the importance of listening and understanding others before seeking to be understood. This aligns with the biblical principle of being slow to speak and quick to listen (James 1:19).

  6. Synergize: Covey advocates that working in teams and combining individual strengths can lead to better results. This aligns with the biblical principle of the body of Christ working together for a common goal (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

  7. Continuous improvement: Covey advocates for lifelong learning and continuous improvement. This aligns with the biblical principle of growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).


My goal in this series, as with any book or resource, is to filter the book through a biblical lens and discern what aligns with God's word and what doesn't.


Overall, the principles outlined in "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" align well with biblical principles.


However, you should read the book for yourself and discern what the holy spirit wants to show you through the teachings.



Got feedback?


I'd love to hear what you think about my series of teachings where I analyze the best-selling self-help books from a Christian point of view! Just drop an email to alex@dailygodpreneur.com with your thoughts or leave a comment.



Suggested further book reviews




 

Read the Whole Series: A Christian Entrepreneur's Perspective on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People



I pray you enjoy the series as much as I enjoyed creating it!



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