LAST WEEK BattleI talked about how a sense of purpose is so much more than just what makes you happy.

But if you think about it, purpose can be an extremely self-centered thing.  If you follow the direction of a higher power, then it’s going to be different.

Do you believe you’ve been given a mission from God?  Do you believe that His direction is more important than your own wishes?

And what does this have to do with your business?

These aren’t flippant questions.  If you want your business to serve God’s directions, then you have to tackle the difference.

Let’s suppose that you have an ice cream shop, and your business mission is to support the development of community.  You’ve designed your shop to be a place where people can get personal support and spiritual fulfillment, you reduce your prices to those in need, and you contribute to the homeless in the community.

You may believe that this is what God wants you to do with your life, and that He wants you to achieve your goals by having this business.

But here’s the hard question:  How do you KNOW?  If you’re going to dedicate your life to this, and that of your employees, how do you have any certainty about this direction?

This is an answer that people have been searching for for millenia.  Sure, there’s those “lucky” folks in the Bible who had a direct conversation with God, and then struggled with the answers they were given.  Most of us never get the nice handy memo which gives us clear direction.

But we can get some pretty good clues by honestly answering these questions:

  • Is this consistent with the talents that God has given me?
  • Does He seem to be removing barriers which crop up?
  • Is He sending you people to help with this mission?
  • Are your spiritual directors seeing the connection and supporting your work?

You can ask each of these questions with normal business language and a secular frame of reference, but I use these words to help you orient your thinking towards God.  In the end, this is about having faith, listening to your Master, and taking action.

And even if your business fails, having the humility and faith to realize that this may still be a gift from God.  Christianity is about realizing that there’s a MUCH bigger picture than we can even begin to imagine.