Business and the Christian

When it comes to Christians doing business there inevitably, at some time or another, arises a conflict of interests, things that disturb the conscience, is this right or is it wrong. The conscience interrogates itself, tearing the Christian apart with inner turmoil. There is always the lingering doubts, did I do it God’s way? Am I being true to my faith? How will I be judged as a result of my actions? Will others see me as a hypocrite?

In today’s cut-throat world of business where the line between right and wrong is thinly drawn, one wonders if it is at all possible for a Christian to be a good businessperson without the compromising of faith and morals. The tactics employed by the world make almost anything legal, but for the Christian this has only made decision-making more difficult. What was dishonest and dirty and unacceptable only a few years ago has become praiseworthy today. Just take a look at the language being used today and the movies being shown, what was distasteful and improper has now become the norm and it is in this world that we as Christians have to make a living without compromising our values.

A young man just entering the business world once said to me that he could not do business without taking of his Christian jacket. The implication in these words was that he could not do business without cheating, lying or stealing. If, during the course of your life, you have seen a mentor or someone you respect doing business (and I use the word with reservation here) by cheating, or lying, or stealing, then the natural thing is for you to think it is quite alright to use the same methods. I used the word ‘business’ with reservation in the previous sentence because I do not believe cheating, lying and stealing is business. These things are an affront to the majority of businesspeople, these things are sin. I want to clarify here, that making a profit is not sin for it is written:

Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. (Isa 48:17)

The Lord will not teach us to sin. The bible is full of people, holy and righteous people of God who earned their keep doing business and making a profit. Abraham was a successful farmer, soldier and businessman. So too was Job. Solomon sent ships to trade and barter in foreign lands even importing chariots from Egypt, Israel’s traditional enemy. Business should not be left in the hands of the ungodly few, but all can, and should, participate.

When Elisha multiplied the oil of the widow and all the containers were full we read what he said to her:

Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.(2Kings 4:7)

In other words make money and retire.

In the New Testament we read of Matthew and Zacchaeus both successful tax collectors and Paul a maker and seller of tents. Then there is also Lydia a seller of purple cloth.

Tax collecting was a type of franchise purchased from the Roman authorities but most tax collectors in Jesus’ time were viewed as dishonest ‘cheats’ by the public at large, but this had more to do with the way in which the business of tax collecting was conducted rather than the business itself. Jesus who spoke to and visited with tax collectors had no condemnation for their business, in fact He commended Zacchaeus for his decision to be honest in his dealings. Tax collecting was a necessary occupation, much as soldiering and politicking was.

If we read Proverbs 31, one of the things that make a wife virtuous is her ability to do business.

She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. (Pro.31:16)

And again:

She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. (Pro.31:24)

When it comes to business and profit, it is not so much the ‘what’ (yes, there are certain businesses that have to be avoided) but the ‘how’ that causes concern. Living in the grey area between right and wrong is not good enough, we need to be firm in our choice to be a Christian irrespective of the implications it may have for business. God, in His wisdom, has given us guidelines in His Word, on how we are to do business, what businesses need to be avoided and what the consequences will be if we transgress His law.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal.5:19-21)

Anything that encourages any of the above must be avoided at all costs. In his prayer for a successful life, Jabez prayed:

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that You would bless me indeed, and make my border larger, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, so that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he asked. (1Chron.4:10)

Jabez asked that God keep him from evil so that he would not cause grief to others, and God did what he asked.

And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! (Mat.18:5-7)

In your business dealings let no harm come to any child or any person for that matter, for you will be held accountable.

In Habakkuk there is a list of things that could get in the way of a godly business, things that need to be avoided, even if it means passing up a good deal.

Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people. (Hab.2:5)

No greater trap exists for a businessman than pride. Pride led to the downfall of the prince of angels. It led to the downfall of King Saul and Nebuchadnezzar, it clouds judgment and smothers wisdom, leaving you vulnerable and at the mercy of the enemy.

Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay!(Hab.2:6)

Alongside pride, we can place unpaid debts as another reason for the downfall of businesspeople. ‘Clay’ refers to pledges or promises to pay debts and I.o.u.’s which in those days were written on clay, and ‘thick clay’ refers to an abundance of debts that pile up and are not paid.

Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil! (Hab.2:9)

Next to unpaid debts comes greed, a drive to gain as much as possible so that one may, through wealth, gain a position of power. Wealth becomes the source of security, as Proverbs 18:11 says: Wealth becomes his city behind the walls of which he will feel safe. As Christian businesspeople, our security is in the Lord.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. (Prov.18:10)

Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity! (Hab.2:12)

After greed comes disregard for others. Building a business on the blood of others will have consequences. Your methods will determine your outcome. Jesus warned:

Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. (Matt.26:52)

There is always somebody stronger or more ruthless than you. Your approach to business will determine their approach to you.

Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! (Hab.2:15)

To mislead and to cheat speaks of thievery not business. To force people into situations, whether by alcohol or coercion or blackmail, speaks of one who is unable to do what is right, unable to be a businessperson. ‘Help one another’ we are told by Paul the apostle, and He will help you.

Opportunities abound, we must just be on the lookout for them. Do your business within God’s parameters, and He will send people to you, those needing your help and those who can help you. Certainly within most congregations are people who can and will help you. Just keep your focus on God. He is the one who ‘teaches us to profit’, who blesses and rewards.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Gal. 6:7)

The rewards you reap will depend on you.

Doing business is not the problem. As Christians we must remember that we are subject to a law higher than that of the world. We carry a name higher than our own. That said, we must not to be na├»ve in our dealings. The world will quite easily and without a second thought take advantage of any unwary, unprepared ‘do-gooder’. Business is business and that means making a profit. Take heed of Jesus’ words:

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Mat.10:16)

How To Develop Self Confidence – 5 Enlightening And Educative Tips You Should Know

One of the most helpful tips is choosing the right friends. This is because the people surrounding someone play an important role in determining how good one feels about himself or herself. Getting friends who are always saying negative things about you can significantly lower your self confidence. This is because these negative comments will ultimately get into your mind and you will feel as if the other people are better then you. But if you surround yourself with friends who are always saying encouraging things you can effectively regain your self confidence. To know the right friends you just need to establish the friends you feel happy whenever you are together.Another helpful tip on how to develop self confidence is to always dress appropriately. This is mainly because most people judge others according to the way they are dressed. Majority of people with self confidence issues usually dress in a way that they will not be outstanding when amongst other people. This is because they do not want to be the center of attention because they do not have the necessary confidence. But dressing properly will significantly boost your confidence because you will feel as if you are equal or even better then the other people. This is especially when attending a function with a certain dress code. You do not hoe to dress in an exaggerated manner. Instead you just need to choose the clothes that send the message that you believe in yourself.

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Being healthy is also an important tip when it comes to developing self confidence. This is because besides looking good one also gets improved mental strength. Some people with self confidence issues usually neglect their health where they spend most of their time indoors eating unhealthy foods. As a result, such people become overweight and this has a negative effect on their self confidence. Some of the helpful things one should do to be healthy include eating balance diet and exercising regularly. This will give you a good looking body and all your organs including the brain will be functioning efficiently therefore making you feel good about yourself.It is also helpful to practice being around people so as to develop self confidence. As noted some of the people with self confidence issues tend to avoid places where they will be meeting other people since they feel the other people are better than them. To eliminate this feeling it is advisable to try and spend time amongst other people. This does not have to be amongst strangers or huge crowds of people. Instead you can just spend time amongst friends or attend fun activities where people interact freely. When you interact with people you will come to know that they also have their weaknesses and they are not as perfect as you had initially thought. You can start by interacting with a few people and this will give you the necessary confidence to interact even with huge crowds of people.

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Doing what you are good in is also a helpful tip on how to develop self confidence. This is because many people lose their confidence when they try and fail things which they are not good in. This is especially when certain activities seems to be popular than others and therefore you try doing them. In such situations, losing or not being the best lowers the self confidence significantly. However, if you do what you are good in you are more likely to be better than the other people and this will significantly boost your self confidence. All what you need is to establish what you are good in even if it is not that popular amongst other people. Therefore, you can effectively regain your self confidence through implementing the outlined tips on how to develop self confidence.Glad to have you reading my article and I hope it has provided some insight on how to develop self Confidence.

The Energy Healing Power of Natural Medicine

Natural medicine is a system that uses a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine. Alternative medicine is also known as traditional, naturopathic, natural or holistic medicine. Proponents of alternative medicine are not refuting the validity of discoveries in and the practical uses of conventional medicine, but are merely trying to put some things into perspective. Due to the widespread interest in natural medicine along with the disappointment and disenchantment with Western medicine, many people, especially in the United States and Europe, where conventional medicine has taken a dominant foothold, are seeking the advice and treatment from naturopathic physicians. These practitioners include herbalists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and others, who advocate preventative health measures as well as recommend wholesome foods and nutritional supplements for their patients and clients. Considering the growing popularity and effectiveness of alternative health treatments and products, certified and licensed professional practitioners of such medical practices should be given their rightful and respectful place in medical society. Natural medicine has been proven not only to be safe, but more effective than Western medicine in treating many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and many other diseases as well

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The history of Natural Medicine and its roots can be traced back thousands of years to ancient cultures such as India and China. Ayurvedic (E. Indian) and Chinese medicine, along with their diagnostic and herbal systems, are still used in these countries extensively, as well as in the United States, especially in Europe, where alternative medicine is well respected. Chinese herbal medicine has a documented history of over 2500 years in China, and is now widely used by practitioners all over the world. It has been legally practiced in the United States. since the mid seventies by licensed acupuncturists. Homeopathy is also a well-known form of alternative medicine discovered in the 18th century by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, but was practically stamped out in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century by the American Medical Association. In 1938, though, the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act finally recognized homeopathic pharmacopoeia as the legal equivalent of allopathic medicine.Another more contemporary and popular form of herbal medicine, called Western herbalism, can be traced back about two hundred years in America. Samuel Thomson, born in 1769, is considered the father of Western herbalism. He discovered over sixty different medically effective native plants by clinical testing, and on the basis of these findings, devised a theory of disease and botanical drug action. Randy Kidu, D.V.M., Ph.D., writes in his articled entitled A Brief History of Alternative Medicine: “The history of herbal medicine is interesting because herbs have been a part of our diet and pharmacy since man began roaming the earth. Coprophytic evidence (seeds and other plant part(found in preserved fecal pellets) points to herbal use by cavemen. Early herbalists practiced their trade since before recorded history in all parts of the world including China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, England, the Americas, and Europe. Many herbs are also mentioned in the Bible. Today, based on sheer numbers of folks who use one form of herbal medicine or another, it remains the most-used medicine worldwide.”Twenty-five hundred years after the advent of allopathic medicine, modern medicine is still grappling with the idea that herbal medicine could be an effective treatment, and not just quackery, although thousands of years of recorded history has proved its efficacy. A new model of understanding in medicine needs to be incorporated into the existing allopathic model. Because of the growing popularity and effectiveness of natural medicine, practitioners may eventually be given their deserved place in medical society. The incorporation of natural medical practices into the existing model of conventional Western medicine, including the training of new medical doctors, is now called Complimentary Medicine. In order to solve our health problems, this modern paradigm for treatment in medicine must be promoted. This can only truly emerge when bias, self-interest, greed and discrimination is discarded and diverse medical knowledge is promoted and shared, not only between university trained scientists and medical doctors, but among Alternative Medicine practitioners, philosophers, metaphysicians, and other intelligentsia of society as well.

Skip The Lines – Bring The Amusement Park Right To Your Own Back Yard

There’s no shortage of things to do in Atlanta. From professional sports to amusement parks, there’s something for everyone. In fact, Atlanta is proud to house some of the nations largest amusement attractions, including the ever popular Six Flags Over Georgia. Children (and adults) love the thrill and adrenaline rush of the large roller coasters. However, one thing most people don’t like about amusement parks is the long lines. By the time it’s all said and done, you can spend several hundred dollars for your family to have an afternoon of fun, and only get a few rides in. This year, instead of spending the day waiting in long lines for short rides, why not bring the fun right to your back yard? With today’s technology, you can literally do just that! One of the advantages of living in a large city like Atlanta is that we have large rental companies that can make your special event feel just like a trip to Six Flags… complete with a train and an ice cream cart!

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If you’re trying to replicate the amusement park feel, there are definitely specific items that you’ll want to be on the lookout for. As mentioned previously, ice cream carts and trackless trains help make the special event feel more like a day at Six Flags.In order to make your next special event more special, try some of the following tips:

Head online to do some research on the party rental company that has the selection your looking for. If you want an ice cream cart to complete your theme park adventure, look around until you find what you’re looking for.

Don’t settle for the first website you see. There are literally hundreds of inflatable party rental companies in Atlanta. Keep looking for a website that offers a wide variety of rental items that you’re looking for.

It’s better to rent everything from one company. Renting in bulk can help you save money. Larger companies will offer discounts for larger purchases of multiple units and rental items.

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Having a day of amusement park fun is cheaper and easier than ever before. By bringing the amusement park to your front door by using a party rental industry, you can include more people at a lower price. So next time you’re planning a special day, instead of spending tons of money for just a few people and braving the long lines of amusement parks, invite the whole neighborhood and bring the amusement park right to your own back yard!