By Reba Phelps
Until a few years ago I had always kept my business life completely separate from my spiritual life. The two had never been formally introduced to each other. It was almost as if I were living two lives and took extra measures to ensure that church and state (business state) were completely separate. It was as if I left my faith at the door and picked it up again when I went home for the day.
Not that I was a backsliding hooligan during business hours, I just didn’t see the need to bother the man upstairs with these issues.
Being in the insurance industry for over twenty-five years I have witnessed a lot of devastation and misery through the eyes of my clients. Since day one I have always held a high regard for my clients and have taken care of them with so much compassion. In my career it is so easy to ask God, “why?”. It is very hard to see bad things happen to good people.
But, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started whole heartedly praying for my clients as well as my coworkers. I began totally relying on the wisdom gained from the good book and applying it as needed. Once I added this small ingredient to the recipe of my career, my whole world changed. My eyes started opening up to the fact that God does not clock in and out of our lives like a time clock.
His interest in us is not seasonal or confined to Sunday mornings.
The following is five simple areas that I have tried to surrender and let my faith take over as needed:
Faith reminds me to always put God first. In a world that is so ambitiously competing for our attention it is almost encouraged to make your career your God. Nothing in this world lasts unless you whole-heartedly put God first. I am so blessed to work for a company that encourages God first, family second, and then work.
“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:17
Faith reminds me to not hold grudges. In the business world it is so easy to carry hard feelings and baggage from one transaction to another. No one is perfect all of the time. People make mistakes. People are late. People can be unkind. People will disappoint you every time. There is only person who never disappoints us.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
Faith is there to be sure that I do not sacrifice honesty and integrity for large accounts or accolades that do not belong to me. When you are in the business of sales, numbers are important. It is easy to cut corners and treat people like numbers. When you treat people the way they are supposed to be treated, the numbers take care of themselves. When you lessen the focus of who gets the credit you will win in the end.
“His master replied, ‘well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come share your master’s happiness.’”
Faith helps me understand closed doors and open doors. Things happen and don’t happen for a reason. We may not always understand the how’s and the why’s, but things do truly happen and don’t happen the way they are meant to occur. It may take years to know why something didn’t work out but it will always be for our own good when we rely on our faith.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
Faith is helping me and reminding me to understand that goals are unachievable without plans and plans are unachievable without discipline. This year I hope to maximize every minute of every day that God has graced me with to be a better and more faithful, mom, sister, friend, employee, manager, public servant, and writer. I pray he orders my steps and my actions all year.
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men.”
In the new year, I encourage you to hold a meet and greet with your personal faith and your career and to continue to incorporate them on a daily basis in 2020. Bringing your faith to work is not a name tag you wear or a title on your business card or desk plate. It is not a glaring eye that you give to coworkers or clients who are not perfect. Faith is what will sustain you through the tough days and the small voice inside that reminds you that everything will be okay.
Faith lives in your heart and changes you from the inside out. Happy New Year.