As I have been sharing in my ‘Bible and Business’ series, there are a lot of business principles given in scripture that is pretty straight forward. There are other instances that are not quite as obvious though. It requires reading between the lines. As I am leading a Bible Study and studying Genesis in depth I now have another appreciation for Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. He displays some awesome business traits we could all learn from.
In Genesis 30 we see a story of Jacob getting deceived by his uncle Laban a few different ways. Jacob worked for him for 14 years and decided to work a few more. He understands that working for someone else and growing their wealth is okay, but he needed to have something to pass to his children’s children. He asked his uncle Laban to give him the spotted, streaked, and striped sheep, and the flocks he took care of grew bigger. He pretty much asked for the lesser valued sheep of the flock as most people wanted all white sheep. He was able to find a way to grow his flock even to a greater number than his uncle Laban’s even though he has never neglected Laban’s flock. Jacob figured out how to work the system and God blessed him with a strong and healthy flock to pass on down to his family.
We often receive hand me downs when trying to start from scratch. Many people will buy second hand from a yard sale or thrift store in order to start a small side hustle/business. This story is a great example of starting with less and creating a massive organization. Many of the best business start-ups begin in this type of situation. Start with a little and make it work. There are a few characteristics that help someone grow like this.
1) Determination. Jacob was very determined in all his desires. He made sure he worked as hard as he could in order to have enough for his innumerable descendants that he knew he would have one day.
2) Purpose. Jacob knew he was called to have countless descendants and so he understood the need for him growing the flock and his wealth. If you know you are called to be a business owner to employ tens, hundreds, or even thousands, you will find more of a motivation to continue on the journey no matter how tough it gets. Purpose will drive you to your destination.
3) Favor. Throughout Jacob’s journey God made sure no harm came to him and his mission. One of my favorite quotes lately came from Kelly Cole. He was on the Trackstarz interview and he said, “I can give you the formula, but not the favor.” The favor is regarding the favor of God in your life. As sons and daughters of God, he gives us favor in perfect timing where we may feel lost. You may have a bid out for a job and sometimes it takes an interference from God to move your bid to the top of the pile. He may not make everything work out perfectly as you see fit, but he will work all things together for the good of those called according to his purpose for them.
I hope you go back and read this story of Jacob and see the determination he had. No he wasn’t perfect and neither will you be. Even through our errors and faults, if we are walking in our purpose with determination and God’s favor, we can take one man’s trash and make it your treasure so that you can build the business you were called to build.