When I graduated from Iowa State University about to enter into my first full-time job, my thinking (possibly naïvely) was that there would be numerous resources to help me live out my faith at work. However, as the months went on I realized there were very few practical resources out there to help me walk in the way of Christ.
Some of my resource challenges included:
- Sermons largely focused on personal application rather than professional application.
- Many christian resources were more around workplace theory or theology, rather than implementable tools and frameworks.
- Jesus (and the Bible) wasn’t seen as an authoritative resource for business strategy or organizational growth.
- It didn’t seem readily obvious (at least to me) how to connect the Bible to business.
Maybe you can relate?
In this season of frustration, I felt like I was wandering through the wilderness. Surely there has to be a new way to think about business life? There has to be tools to help integrate the Bible into my work? Thankfully, God brought along great friends, mentors, and insights to help me develop and connect the Bible to my business.
Over time, I found both my perspective as well as my approach to business changed. As I worked to apply the Bible to my job, I found the biblical tools and frameworks actually worked! In a business context, the paradigms produced both tangible and intangible positive results.
This is why I’m so passionate about working with Christians in the marketplace. If we can coach and equip them with these tools, they too can get on a trajectory of change: producing healthier, more productive and integrated lives.
What’s an example of these positive results I’m talking about?
From Compartmentalization to Integration
There was a point in my life where I was struggling with weight. As the doctor put it, “It was time to make a change.” This area of my life was out of control because it was not integrated with the rest of my life. My doctor was right, I needed to make a change. I need to pull my spiritual life, work life, and home life together.
It was easy for me to eat and exercise well outside of work. I’d typically go to the gym on the weekends and in the mornings before work. However, when traveling or going out for a “nice meal” with clients I would rationalize and compartmentalize saying, “I can eat what I want because this is a special occasion.”
The problem was soon most meals were a “special occasion”. I quickly found out this type of thinking doesn’t take off the pounds! As I let God in to this area and stopped the rationalizing, my life became more integrated. Ultimately, I felt more at peace and better about myself when my pants started fitting again!
Change came when I realized God was present and speaking into both my home and work. He wanted me to be obedient to the weight loss plan he was convicting me of both at home and work.
Fast forward to today.
I work hard to keep things integrated with God at the center. I can be juggling multiple “plates” in the air, yet consciously make decisions around calendaring and priorities based on two important filters:
- Who I am?
- What I’m called to do?
These filters bring clarity with what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to. I ask myself if new opportunities line up with the answers to these two questions. Using these filters, I find a new freedom and confidence in what my life is about. This way of living matters and makes a difference, though it takes effort to get there, the end results of wholeness and peace are worth it.
Of course, Jesus is our guide and example in all of this. He knew exactly who he was and what he was called to do. Whether the crowd was pleased or disappointed, he didn’t worry or feel guilty because the vision and mission for him was so clear.
Another Build a Better Life Testimony
Here is another testimony from my colleague Jay where he shares how biblical application is making a difference in his life:
“It’s so simple, yet so profound. Jesus is the best (insert ANY occupation here) who ever lived! And yet, for most of my working life, I limited him by only inviting him into my business dealings when “major” issues came up. Through the practical concepts in this book, I’ve come to learn that Jesus gives insight on finance, marketing, sales, human resources, “work-life” balance, non-profit organizations, planning, and anything else you can think of. I encourage everyone to dive into these pages and apply these principles to your life, and see for yourself how Jesus’ teachings will equip you to have a full, integrated life. Then ask yourself one simple question: Do I believe him or not?”
– Jay Hidalgo, Marketing, Sales, and Business Coach
We’ve worked hard to make the concepts in Build a Better Life practical and easy to implement into your life and business. The heart and passion in getting this book in your hands came from the frustrations and struggles I had when I first entered the corporate world. It’s our hope that this is a resource to equip you to live life to the full!