“Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7

By John E. Schrock, Businessman

Underline the key concepts found in this principle.

How many times have we heard the statement, "I want to have my own business so I can be my own boss." That sounds good, but then people get into business only to find out that they are not really the boss...that is, if they want to be successful. In order to be in business and be successful, there are usually four bosses to answer to -

1. Government: Uncle Sam will be regulating your business, and letting you know who is the boss. If you work hard and do well, he will watch over you even more diligently, imposing restrictions on you. He may not always be right, but he will always be there to regulate you.

2. Customers: They will dictate what you do, how you service them, and will make sure you do it with a smile, that is, if you are going to be successful.

3. Your bank or lender: Since the borrower is a servant to the lender, you will be honest and kind to him or he will cut off your credit. He will not have mercy on you if you miss a payment.

4. Your Employees: They determine a measure of your failure or success. They are not slaves, you will treat them right, or you will not have them.

So, having your own business is not necessarily about being your own boss, because business is serving people and their needs.

Ownership, however, does have many good things to offer if we will pay the price. There are various reasons why we want ownership. For instance, it may be a God-given desire. For God said, "I have given you [mankind] dominion over everything; you are to be fruitful [develop] and rule [subdue] the earth" (Genesis 1:28). We are made with the instinct to rule and to conquer. Man was made for the earth. It is like God created a business and made man to manage it. By giving man ownership for things he develops, he gains incentive to manage well. We are made in God’s image and His likeness, and our style should be like His. Business is not always easy, as we employ and compete with others. This can cause conflicts and frustrations. So it is important to service each other and establish arenas and jurisdictions for ourselves and our businesses. We must always consider our fellowman, for he also wants to rule.

Godly business people enjoy the responsibility that comes with ownership. They like it, and they are fulfilled and enjoy going to work. They are called into business by God, just as pastors are called into the ministry. They are tireless, full of energy, with a productive attitude. They are not afraid of problems, and take risks. They consider God as their partner, who gave them talents, and are out to increase the value of the gift God gave them (Matthew 25:15).
This makes ownership fulfilling. The end result of their labor is wealth. Business people are like Solomon who chose wisdom to manage (rule). As he became wise, he also received riches, honor and fame. Be careful, because stepping into ownership demands responsibilities, and there are many who do not accept this view of business ownership. They are greedy and money-driven with no mercy for others. They will lie, cheat and steal to get what they want. But if we do business for the right reason, it can be very rewarding. It was so designed by God.

This principle is part of the one year character development program: Foundations For Achievement.

Thoughts to Ponder:
The difference between the rich and the poor is how they manage their lives..