Hope. Peace. Love. Joy. These are what you will find at the core of good business. These are things that are handcrafted by the Lord in the hearts of those who have delighted themselves in Him! Psalm 37 stands firm as the enduring bastion of those on the front lines of good business. They are part of a holy economy. But we also should not wear rose-colored glasses. At times like these, it might seem natural to abandon your post and take flight. To hunker down in a bunker and hope for the best. What would cause someone to doubled down and gird themselves for battle? Is there a noble commander in chief? Psalm 37 soberly reminds us of His name… the Lord of both heaven and earth.
Is there any hope?
It seems almost laughable that anyone would be left defending small businesses anywhere in the world today. With mega corporations gobbling up the landscape how could a small business even survive much less thrive? And then COVID-19 and any last hope seems lost. While some are allowed to still have their small businesses open, many mom and pop shops have been required to close – “non-essential”.
Can you imagine, in the current economy, starting a small business? It seems entirely too risky. But rest assured what survives this true test will solidify your business for the long haul. It will teach you lessons about your business and yourself. Things you could never have learned except in this context. And for those who are trying to figure out how to stay afloat – the struggle is real!
Gripped in the fear of “the inevitable”…
With each episode of indecision, each postponement, fear seems to be fertilized and growing at an ever-increasing rate. Our anxious thoughts are daily watered in the mass media. Many are fretting about what evildoers are up to. Rest assured there are schemers that are whispering their wicked plots and have since time began. And in the midst of all these things, even the noblest of people have paused in reflective thoughts.
Imagine receiving your midterm report card and there are 3 F’s and 2 D’s. Maybe your mind begins to address “the inevitable”. I’m a failure. I am not good at school. I need to find a major that better fits me. But all of these thoughts aren’t helpful. What we should be doing is hearing what the report card is telling you. It’s the midterm. It took you this long to get to the place where you are now and it’s not where you want to be. It’s not who you think you are. Immediately your mind should become productive and begin to think of the things you can do in the future to correct the situation. Because the reality is you have just as much time to get yourself out of the situation that you had to get yourself into it.
The same is true with any business circumstance you find yourself in. Sit down study the situation and make assessments of what you can do differently to correct it. Seek the advice of other fresh eyes on your situation and gain insights into what they would do differently. Inaction fertilizes fear, but practical tiny steps in the right direction bring about change. Hearing the voice of God and obeying it is the action that cures fear and brings forth hope, peace, love, and joy.
Retrieving our sense of piety in the trenches
As you study Psalm 37, take note of the actions that you can be doing right now that will cause you to love God and serve your neighbor well. They might seem small and insignificant to you, but they will not be put to shame. In the midst of social distancing, what can be done to demonstrate love, piety, and compassion?
Genuine good business is born out of the man or woman who apprentices with the Master Craftsman and learns to walk in His ways. It is there that the character needed for a fruitful economy is formed in repentance and faith in Christ. It is a character that never fears a population issue, global warming, or the next pandemic, etc. And the fruit of this economy is ever-expanding creativity that stewards the divine order and glorifies the Creator as the maker of all things.
In the grip of tyranny…
Deceptive business is forged out of bold conquest in spite of moral bankruptcy. It borrows from a cruel slave master, who only lends the currency of exploitation and greed. The fruit of this economy is an ever-widening wasteland full of corruption and depravity until it is depleted of every last resource. It thirsts for more control until its exploits are crushed under the grip of its tyranny.
Let the freedom bell ring!
The words of Psalm 37 ring out like a clarion bell across the mountains and the plains. It is calling men and women everywhere all around the world to remember, “The LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints.” He can be trusted. Good can still be done. We can dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Instead of letting the world “go to hell in a handbasket”, take some advice from Gandalf and “Prepare for battle!”
The Lord calls the sojourner to refrain from anger, and forsake wrath. To walk away from fretting, because it only leads to more evil. When we walk through the valley of the shadow of death we will fear no evil, for the LORD is literally with us! Therefore, this Psalm can calmly announce that “the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.”