Fear. It’s one of my biggest enemies. Fear of what people will think. Fear of what will happen if I fail. And sometimes, fear of change. Along with fear’s friends - intimidation and despair(it’s distant relatives, comfort and perfection) - I fight fear a lot specifically in my business, but also in the rest of my life. I’ve mentioned this before, but once a month I try to spend a day brainstorming and thinking about my business. Planning new strategies, dreaming dreams, writing down goals, and keeping up with all the visionary aspects of my small little company. On that one day a month, more than any other day, I fight with fear the most. But you see, fear is pure selfishness. Fear says that I’m in charge, and if I don’t keep everything together, I’ll fail miserably. Fear does not acknowledge God. Fear says He doesn’t exist, or that He does... and He simply doesn’t care. Fear ignores the truth about His love, He protection and His promises. So one of the ways I combat fear on my business brainstorming days is to start with truth and prayer. Last business day, I opened my Bible to Proverbs 3, and started studying. Usually, when I think of Proverbs 3, I think of the beloved well known verse, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding...”. But this time was different. This time I read them in context. As I sat there in Panera, desperate for God to move and work in and through my photography business (and in my life), these 7 things stuck out to me. I want my business to be built on this.
Proverbs 3:3-4 | Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck and write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.
1. True Success. What is success? To me, success looks a lot like “find(ing) favor and good repute in the sight of God and man”. But what’s the condition? “Do not let kindness and truth leave you.” This year, I pray that my business will be build on kindness and truth. Love and honesty. Wisdom. Only then will God bless me.
Proverbs 3:5-6 | Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
2. Direction. That’s what I need. But direction comes from Jesus - not from the internet, or Facebook or blogs or other people’s opinions of gals and good ideas. May He be my direction.
Proverbs 3:7-8 | Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
3. Humility. Humility is refreshing. Humility is freeing (yay - I don’t have to know everything anymore!). Humility is essential, but it only comes from God. May I be a humble business owner.
Proverbs 3:9-10 | Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.
4. Money. The money I make is not my own - it’s given to me from the Creator of life. He promises to take care of me if I submit my finances to Him; a comforting thought! May my checkbook and credit cards be under His control.
Proverbs 3:16-17 | Long life is in her (Wisdom’s) right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace.
5. Wisdom. This verse speaks for itself - riches, honor and peace are a byproduct of wisdom. May my life and business be marked by wisdom.
Proverbs 3:24,26 | When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.
6. Rest and peace. Fear strips peace, and fear keeps me up at night. If I seek the Lord, and seek wisdom, He promises rest from the weariness of fear. May He be my peace, and may my worries be cast aside as I sleep.
Proverbs 3:27 | Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
7. Generosity. If God doesn't withhold good things from me, why should I withhold good things from others? May my life and business be marked by generosity.