If you are high-performing leader who has a track record for success, you still know what it feels like to get in a rut. Call it a slump, fog, funk, whatever – we have all seen them and they are not fun to experience. The rut drains our energy and takes away any motivation we have for moving forward. We know we are in it, but often have trouble getting out of it!
In my opinion, entrepreneurs are the backbone of our country and the economic system as we know it. Without entrepreneurs, our economy would fall apart. At the same time, being an entrepreneur is not an easy path to take. There are many challenges and hurdles to overcome before an entrepreneur can truly be successful.
In my last post, I described the life of a missionary family I know that is living in Cusco, Peru. I told you about their basic plan, from start to finish, and how God’s call on their lives is not at all different from His call on your life or mine. In this post, I want to explain that idea further.
As I have planned for this year and completed my goal-setting process, I have determined that I am going to build on some of my successes from last year. In doing this, I am going to take some bigger risks and go after bigger experiences and results. In a word, I want this year to be an adventure!
What about you? Are you living a great adventure? Or are you just watching (and envying) those who are?
I am not sure about you, but this past year has flown by for me. Not only has this year flown by, but I will say with confidence that it has been my best year ever, in many respects! As I look back over what all has been accomplished this year, I am amazed. I am also excited because I know why and I believe I can build on it this new year.
Best Year Ever
If the idea of having your best year ever interests you, then I have good news for you.
Sometimes I get focused on leveraging our business for eternal return. It is easy for me to overlook the details of the business. If you own or lead a business with any number of employees, you likely have experienced something similar. However, we are responsible for running businesses of excellence. We cannot afford to overlook the basics for long. This includes a safe workplace!
As a result of some turnover in our business recently, I have seen two out-of-the-ordinary accusations against us. While these accusations were certainly unusual for us, they are not uncommon in our industry.
Have you come to a place where you have lost your passion for what you do? Maybe you are in a rut or just burned out. Maybe you are just not that “into” the purpose you once felt. It could even be that business going better than ever, but you just don’t “feel it” anymore. I have a couple of ideas that might just help you regain your passion for your God-given purpose!
Forgetting Their First Love
In my last two posts, I have referred to a passage in Revelation where Jesus chastised the Christians at Ephesus for forgetting their first love. He praised them for some of their good works, but He called them out for their wrong motives. In drifting from their relationship with Jesus, they abandoned their first love.
You are a Christian business owner or leader and you are suddenly confronted with an ugly truth about your business. It appears there is “sin in the camp” and you are not sure how to deal with it. You want to do the right thing, but that is not always easy to determine. How do you deal with it?
Sin In The Camp
In the book of Joshua, chapters 6-7, we read about Joshua leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. First, there is the miraculous defeat of the mighty city of Jericho. Spirits among the Israelites are high until they are subsequently defeated by a much weaker city of Ai. What happened? Why the reversal of fortune?
It turns out someone among the Israelites had broken the covenant God had made with them during the attack on Jericho. As a result, God left them to their own against Ai and they were sorely defeated. Now, the morale of the people has fallen and they are scared to death.
Learning From Joshua
Joshua is the (fortunate?) one that God has given the task of replacing Moses as leader of the Israelites – a TOUGH job! How does he handle this similar situation? What can we learn from him?
I encourage you to read the whole account on your own, beginning with Joshua 6:1 and ending with Joshua 7:26. There is much more to learn from this passage, but I have broken Joshua’s actions into the following 6 steps that I believe we can apply to our current business challenges.
Step 1 – Set Clear Guidelines
There is no grey area in Joshua’s instructions to the Israelites prior to the attack on Jericho. In Joshua 6:17-19, he clearly tells them what is to be done with the city, its inhabitants, and and everything in it once the city is in their hands. The sin that followed was not due to misunderstanding!
We must do the same in our businesses. It is our responsibility as the leaders to make sure the rules and expectations are clear to everyone. New hires must receive clear instruction regarding your policies or they cannot be held accountable to them. Everyone must know our guidelines if we expect them to comply!
Step 2 – Stay Close to God
Joshua did not receive instruction from God and then run off on his own to carry it out. He remained close to God. As soon as he learned of the defeat at Ai, Joshua fell before God in submission (Joshua 7:6-10). He did not know the reason for the defeat, but he knew he had to seek God first. God answered by telling Joshua there was sin in the camp.
Our response must be similar. Don’t get caught up in the fact that Joshua had such an obvious defeat that clued him in to the trouble. Instead, recognize that Joshua had remained so close in his walk with God that his very first reaction was to seek God’s face.
Joshua did not question his general about strategy or even question his own decision to send a smaller force of 3,000 men. He went straight to God as an instinctive reaction. If we are in close communion with God, our instincts will be similar.
Step 3 – Trust God’s Provision
In Joshua 7:10-12, God tells Joshua about the sin in the camp. He makes it clear that He will no longer be with the Israelites unless the sin is removed. At this point, Joshua does not hesitate. He does not look for other options. He acts decisively when he delivers the instructions to the Israelites (vv. 13-15).
I don’t know what Joshua could have feared when making this decision, but I know how these kinds of decisions have affected me. When I have caught wind of impropriety in our business, fear has often flooded my mind. Will an investigation lead to a top performer? Will I be forced to terminate someone that is critical to our success?
Joshua may have had similar fears, but he acted anyway. He trusted that his provision was only from God. We must have the same trust in God. If the removal of sin in the camp causes the loss of a top performer, then we have to trust that God will make up the difference. He is faithful.
In my next post, we will cover the final 3 steps for dealing with sin in the camp. I hope that you can see the business application of this passage. Again, I encourage you to read it on your own and see how it speaks to you. I think you might be surprised at what you find!
Have you experienced sin in the camp with your business?
How did you deal with it?
What would you do differently next time?