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The Business of Grace

September 26, 2010

My CFO, Dave, has coined a fancy new corporate theological term. It’s called “Business Sovereignty.” He mentions it every time something turns out for the good that we didn’t really expect.

Dave, like me, also happens to be a Presbyterian, which is really neither here nor there, other than we flatter ourselves with our astute choice of Christian denomination to be affiliated with.

Now, I’m no theologian, but I think the idea behind God’s sovereignty is that, no matter what happens in life, or what decisions we make, we can trust that God is somehow behind it all. Or encompassing it all. Or permeating it all. Or something like that.

Like I said, I’m no theologian.

What I do know, is that Dave and I are making decisions and taking risks as we are running the company, but God works it all out one way or the other. We do our best to make good decisions, choosing good strategies, trying to be smart and getting good advice and hiring good people, but the truth is we never really know if we’ve made a good decision until weeks or months later. That’s when you see the results start kicking in, the shareholder value increasing, and the return on your investments (or not).

But we’ve noticed many times when we’ve made decisions without knowing all the variables and complexities (who ever really does?), that it still worked out somehow, in spite of ourselves. Or sometimes we start dabbling in some area without giving it much thought, yet later we discover that it sets us up for something brilliant. And we tell each other how brilliant we are, even though we know it was God, not us.

It may have something to do with the fact that we pray for our company. 

Sure, there is some intuition going on, where we are drawing upon our experiences in responding to the events and market issues going on around us, but it’s more than that.  We understand that it was God’s grace.

This is the business version of grace.

The basic idea behind grace is that it is an undeserved showing of love from God. When you think about it, grace is available throughout our days in many ways — when we get those little gifts from God: the clever surprises and good tidings and sighs of relief; those things that we usually take for granted. And sometimes we get those wonderful klunks on the head where God swoops in and saves the day when we never really even asked for it – the deal closes just in the nick of time, we miss the accident by seconds, the illness heals, disaster is averted. We may recognize and thank God for it, but more often, we forget about God and just go out and have a few drinks to celebrate.

If we want to truly benefit from grace, we have to be aware, and we have to notice, and we have to be willing to accept it, to be grateful. God reaches out to us to show us His love, every day. That is, I believe, how God actually intervenes in our lives: through this slippery, lovely thing called grace.

Even in the churn of business.

Thank God.

Photo image by Nancy Rosback.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 26, 2010 2:01 pm

    As a front line supervisor, with as many as 110 people directly reporting to me at once, i had to manage from a position of grace. Sure there were rules and I had to be a ‘legalist’, but recognizing that people are weak and will fail and will struggle, i had to have that heavenly grace.

    It meant sometimes I was too easy, but people recognized the spirit that I came from and they too, treated me with grace when I failed.

  2. September 26, 2010 2:38 pm

    Can’t put my finger on it exactly, Bradley, but I like this.

    I like it a lot.

  3. September 26, 2010 3:17 pm

    If’n I had me a company, it would be a pleasure to have someone like you turnin’ the crank, churnin’ real butter for spreadin’ on de bread. Of life.

  4. September 26, 2010 4:48 pm

    the words of the title

    “The Business of Grace”

    ding ding ding


  5. September 27, 2010 8:55 am

    I think the challenge for me and for many of us is to remain aware of God’s grace. As you suggested, it is so easy to take those little things for granted but if we slow down, take time to pray and read scripture, then I find that it is easier for me to stay connected to the knowledge that all of those little things are, in fact, God’s grace.

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