"The key to understanding the Bible is to look for Jesus in the Bible. Jesus is the hero of the Bible. If you read the Bible and don't find Jesus, re-read it! The Bible has one hero, His name is Jesus; one villain, that is Satan; one problem, that is sin; one solution, that is salvation. That is what the Bible is all about." -Dr. Adrian Rogers

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why I Hate Big Businesses

And remember the words of the Lord Jesus,
that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Acts 20:35

As I stated in my last post, around this time last year, I decided to take a year off from school. It was also at that time that I changed my major. You see, I started out in business management, but I soon realized that all the business classes are designed to do is to teach you how to take other people’s money; and that’s not what I want to do in life. I would still like to be a part of the business world, but just in a different way. I want to be in the business of supporting my local community; not in the business of making money.

The other night, I watched one of my favorite episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. The episode is titled “The Merchant of Mayberry” and features Bert Miller, a traveling salesman. Bert is what my mother would call “a good ol’ soul” who really was no salesman at all, yet the people of Mayberry loved him. I say Bert wasn’t a true salesman because people actually had to talk him into selling them his merchandise instead of the other way around. My favorite quote from the episode is, “You don’t need all six of them. Why don’t you just take three of them and a tube of glue”? Looking out for the customer, that’s what it’s really about.

Even though I worked for a popular grocery store chain for nearly three years, I really don’t like chain stores and actually try to avoid them as much as possible. I much prefer small businesses that are unique to the local community. First of all, they bring something to that community that no other place in the world has. Secondly, they support the local people. It’s just like the song says, “sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.” It feels good to walk in and have a familiar face call you by your first name and ask about your family because they know all of them by name, as well.

Big businesses cause us to lose our sense of community, whereas small, locally owned businesses help us to find it again. I will forever be a firm believer in small businesses because that’s where this country began. If you are a business owner, don’t be afraid to remain small. It takes guts to do that. It takes greed to branch out. Quit trying to grow your business and start trying to grow your community and impact the lives of the local people around you.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why Did You Get Up This Morning?

And remember the words of the Lord Jesus,
that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Acts 20:35

Nearly one year ago, I made a life-changing decision to take some time off from school to pursue a fulltime career. Nearly a year later, while I don’t regret my decision, it has taught me some very important things. Not only did I realize that the company I felt sure I was put on this earth to work for wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be, but I also realized that I have no desire whatsoever to be a part of the modern business world. In fact, I have become convinced that “the great game of business,” as one college professor put, is not something that should ever be played by those who know the Lord and the teachings of His Word.

We are told in 1 Timothy 6:10 that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” It wasn’t long after I took on my current job that I realized the real reason that the company exists. It exists to make its owners a lot of money. Yes, I am fully aware that we all need money to survive, but money shouldn’t be our reason for living. The people I work for get up every day to make money. Friends, I want a better reason for waking up than that.

The Bible doesn’t say that money is the root of all evil; it says that the love of money is the root of all evil. It isn’t wrong to have money. It isn’t wrong to have a whole lot of money. However, it is wrong to love money so much that it becomes your sole purpose for living. Therefore, if you are a business owner and the only reason your business exists is to provide you with an income, you’re in trouble. I realize we all need a stable income, but should that really be the only reason we go to work every day? Think about it.

I think that, if we were to analyze the mission statements of every business in operation in this country today, we would be shocked at how many really shouldn’t be in business at all. You see, if you cannot say that what you do is making a positive impact on your local community, I don’t believe you should be in business. Even more to the point, if your main goal is not to serve the local community around you to the point that you would do what you do for free, you definitely should not be in business.

I don’t know about you, but I have much higher goals in life than making money. I want to wake up every morning knowing that what I am about to do is going to make a difference in the lives of the people in the local community around me. I want to wake up knowing that I am going to a job that is good, honorable, and worthwhile. Adrian Rogers said it well when he said, “If you really want to know how wealthy you are, add up the things in your life that money can't buy and death cannot take away.” Money can’t buy a person’s way into Heaven, but your life can lead them there; and that’s certainly something that death can never take away. So I ask you, what was your reason for getting up this morning?