Is God’s Kingdom a Remarkable Family Business?

Few sections have garnered more comments than my likening the Kingdom of God to a family business in Chapter 2 of Persevering Power. What do you think? Is God’s Kingdom a remarkable family business and if so, what does that mean for you?

Discovering your true purpose

I have watched many people struggle to find their purpose. For some, that is tied to a career, a spouse, children, money, or fame. In Persevering Power, I posit purpose is not found in what you do, what you have, or who you are, but in whose you are. I believe you are a child of God, created in his image, and are of infinite worth. This concept is known as the imago Dei which expresses both the care of God for man and our capacity to reflect him in our interactions with the world around us.

We begin to see our purpose as Dr. King described in his letter from a Birmingham jail, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” While we start with this common understanding of our interwoven humanity, Jesus invites us to an exclusive family business. While the invitation is open to all, it must be accepted by acknowledging you are not the boss. He is in control of your life, not you. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I Jn. 1:9. Translation: He is a good boss and will give you purpose if you let go of controlling your destiny and let him take over your life.

How do I know what to do in the family business?

Welcome to the family business which Jesus called the Kingdom of God. Your true purpose is working to advance this Kingdom and not your own.

The first thing to do in advancing the Kingdom of God is to review the employee manual – the Bible. My friends at the Bible Project make this easy with their daily guide – it all leads to Jesus. Then talk to your boss. Can you imagine never talking to your boss? Yet according to a Pew Research study 32% of Christians say they don’t talk to God every day. That sounds like a good way to miss your assignment.

And what is your assignment? Good news. This is less about what you do and more about how you do it. Jesus wants you to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with him (Mic. 6:8). This starts with loving him – it truly is a remarkable family business – and loving others. We make life hard when Jesus makes it simple. If you understand that life is not about you but about how God can use you in the loving service of others, you are well on your way to advancing the family business.

AvodahYour true work

In Persevering Power, I write much more on the analogy of God’s kingdom as a family business, and I encourage you to read more. For now, it is important to know you were created for work. In the opening pages of the Bible we find the first use of the word Avodah (Gen. 2:15). You were created to work and had a job in the garden. You also were created to worship and to serve. Avodah means all three, so your true work is done in the worshipful service of God and others.

Christmas is not long past, and I love A Christmas Carol (Muppets anyone?). Scrooge sees the acquisition of wealth and power as good business, but Jacob Marley’s ghost proclaims the truth that “mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.” And the changed Scrooge reflects this understanding as he lives generously for others.  May we all discover our true purpose in the remarkable business of advancing God’s kingdom of love, peace, joy, justice, and generosity on the Earth. May his kingdom come, and his will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.

Keep persevering.