We small business owners often find ourselves in circumstances where we are discouraged and exasperated, which can swiftly make us question our faith. When that happens, words from the Bible will offer inspiration when it's most needed. For five years I've been blessed to be able to write an article on Bible verses for small business owners. Many of you shared with me how helpful these posts have been, which motivates me to continue this practice.
My Bible verse theme for the year is, Philippians 3:13-14 - when I read it I always feel encouraged to look forward and not dwell on the past. Running a business can make you feel like you're a chicken in a race every day. At times it's easy to become too busy or tired to pray, but never forget that's where our power comes from. Keep these verses close by to keep you grounded in the face of adversity. I believe God wants us all to live a good life. Here are 14 Bible verses for small business owners in 2014.
Deuteronomy 8:18 NIV But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. Many of us who call ourselves entrepreneurs and small business owners are arrogant. It certainly takes confidence to be successful in business but you must always remember from whom all blessings flow. God has given you the talent and ability to make money, and that should keep you humble.
Peter 4:10 NIV Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. You should think of your business as a service to others first. Making money will come second. It's about give to get. If you make networking all about closing a contract, people will see right through you and you'll get nowhere fast. Listen for an opportunity to give first.
Corinthians 13:5-6 NIV Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. There will be times in your business when your faith in people will be tested, but you can't judge everyone by the actions of one person. People are human they will let you down sometimes. You can't grow your business by yourself. You'll need to be able to trust others with key roles to build the business of your dreams. Be smart. Use contracts, non-disclosure and non-compete agreements with everyone. Never lose faith in yourself or others.
Matthew 6:14-15 NIV For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Have a forgiving spirit. Now that doesn't mean to keep employees and contracts that don't deliver, just don't be hateful. Everyone makes mistakes, and you will, too. If you have a spirit of forgiveness, your client might just have that same spirit, when you miss a major deliverable.
Isaiah 45:2 NIV I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. Always know that it is God who fights your battles. Don't waste energy trying to get back at those who wrong you in business. Their actions will eventually come to light. People put themselves out of business.
Joshua 1:9 NIV Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. The number #1 thing that holds back most entrepreneurs is confidence. Be strong and courageous about your business. You are selling yourself as much as your product or service. If you don't believe in it, then no one else will believe in it either. Make sure your self-talk is positive. Master your pitch and just wait for the answer.
Mark 5:36 NIV Overhearing what they said, Jesus told them, "Don't be afraid; just believe." There will be times when you are the only person who believes in your business dream. God wants us to push ourselves to greatness. Don't be afraid; just believe in yourself and your business idea. Do your homework and identify a target client. When you have a plan, you don't have to be afraid. Winging it is scary.
Peter 5:8 NIV Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. The devil is always out to conquer and destroy relationships in business and in your personal life. Give people around you the benefit of the doubt. When you feel offended or angry, make sure your emotions are not lying to you. Focus on what is true. Before you need to make a hard call or have a difficult meeting, pray first for the right words.
John 1:2 NIV Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It is important that you prioritize your health as you build your business. Too many of us entrepreneurs are workaholics. You are not a machine. Focus on your self-care. Schedule time for yourself to go on a date, read, workout, or spending time with your kids.
Proverbs 2:6-8 NIV For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. God will give you the desire of your heart, if you serve him. Be a good boss, mentor and friend to your fellow business owners and God will never forsake you. Sleep well knowing God's always got your back, and your front when you need it.
Proverbs 29:11 NIV Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. Watch your temper! The devil can use you when you give in to a flash of rage. Words hurt, and you can't take them back if too much damage is done. Wait 24 hours before responding to an angry email, or better yet just pick up the phone and talk.
Romans 8:5 NIV Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Each day, I seek to be an example of God's light and love. Make sure you know the real motives behind why you work so hard in your business. Who are you glorifying? Money isn't everything. Focus on what is really important in life.
Ephesians 6:12 NIV For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Make sure you remember who the real enemy is; it's not your staff, customers or your family. You need to treat all of them like they are your #1 asset in your business.
Philippians 3:13-14 NIV Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Too often, we as small business owners relive past hurt and disappointments. Let it go, shake it off and move forward. You probably thought you were going to get that contract, but if you didn't, you were not supposed to. Keep pressing ahead in truth and integrity, and everything will work out in your business.
What Bible verses encourage you in your journey as a small business owner?
This article was originally published under the title 14 Bible Verses Every Small Business Owner Needs for 2014 at www.succeedasyourownboss.com
Melinda F. Emerson, SmallBizLady is America's #1 small business expert. She is an author, speaker and small business coach whose areas of expertise include small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. She writes a weekly column for the New York Times, publishes a resource blog, www.succeedasyourownboss.com which is syndicated through the Huffington Post. She also hosts a weekly talk show on Twitter called #SmallBizChat for small business owners. As a brand, she reaches 1.5 million entrepreneurs a week on the internet. As CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda develops audio, video and written content to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. Forbes Magazine named Melinda Emerson one of the #1 Woman for Entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. Melinda has been featured on MSNBC, Fox News, NBC Nightly News, and in Fortune, The Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Black Enterprise. She is the bestselling author of "Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works," and the ebook How to Become a Social Media Ninja; 101 Ways to Dominate Your Competition Online.