Faith and Family Business: God in Our Lives

By Bill Long on March 14, 2016


     There is no other biblical book that puts as much stress on making plans for the future as the Book of Proverbs. In fact, many scholars talk about a sort of “formula” that Proverbs has: planning (including consulting with advisors) + trust in God = success. In more elegant language they call it the “Deed-Consequences Nexus” or connection. You do certain things, and what you do inevitably leads to certain outcomes.

     While not underestimating this idea, there is one recurring theme that shows that Proverbs is as complex as life itself. It says: “The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps” (Prov. 16:9). That is, even when you do all you can, in faithfulness, in care, in taking into account every factor imaginable, it is the Lord who directs the steps. We humans simply don’t have the last word in life, even if there are some of us who insist on having it in our conversations. I call this the “God Factor” in the Book of Proverbs.

     Rather than this statement destabilizing our sense of self or the importance of taking responsibility for our lives, our families and our family businesses, this reality should instill both humility and a sense of security. It should instill humility because we realize that there simply are factors in decisions we make that we might not understand or control, and that our daily prayer should be for guidance. It should instill a sense of security because we believe that the God we serve is to be trusted to make our paths straight. Do all you can and trust God, and, on top of that, believe that God still has His own way of making things secure.