My wife looked back and forth at both our various personality test results. Then she looked up directly at me and with a concerned look said, “You mean to tell me you haven’t been doing all those things just to make me mad?!” She paused. Waiting for my reaction.
I laughed. Then we both laughed.
The marriage counseling tests revealed that the oft said comment, “opposites attract,” was so true. But being Christians was more than just about our marriage and following God’s edict to Adam and Eve to “be fruitful [productive] and multiply [have kids]” (Gen 1:28), it involved how our opposite natures, personalities, talents, and skills sets were not only different, but in most cases how they were complimentary. Bottom line: We need each other, we’re to be equally-yoked, each of us pulling our own weights as partners in the marriage and business with God in the middle guiding us.
God wired my man brain for a specific purpose, He wired my wife’s female brain for a different purpose. But now knowing these personality and talents differences between us, my wife finally realized she couldn’t rewire, i.e., change her husband, to fit her liking. She can never rewired what God had wired in me, and vice versa. Yes, lousy life habits can be rewired with better ones, but our basic personalities are managed, never changed. When we both became entrepreneurs, we realized many other things we were never taught or mentored in.
First, our personality differences meant we need to use our God-given strengths and talents to help our spouse in their weaknesses. Similarly, we use our strengths for the marketplace to serve others in their talent gaps, or, we hire those whose strengths help us in our weaknesses. When you are burdened with a weakness that is difficult for you to overcome or work through, someone with these God-given talents and purpose “comes alongside” and “saves” you. It is then that you pay and praise them and God for their help in your time of need.
Second, my friend and business mentor Jerry Fultz shared an academic paper of the Kingdom performance and potential of marketplace ministries. The white paper, Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done… In Business Biblical Foundations for Business as Mission, convinced us to rethink and relearn new Godly habits in our secular-sacred divide in our businesses.
…Russell (2010) studied BAM [Business As Mission] extensively and found that what he called “blessers” (which fit the faithful presence model) had a much better rate of salvations than what he called “converters" (which focus on evangelization alone). The results were startling with a ratio of 48:1 for the “blessers.”
In other words, “blessers” who are businessmen and women account for 48 people coming to Christ in “mission fields” around the globes to only one by a specific missionary activity, i.e., a 48:1 ratio of Christians in business to the clergy. Christian businesses would be demonstrating, by their actions in business in the marketplace, God’s love for others. My article about Christian businessman George Westinghouse showcases his 60 companies and 50,000 employees and what this looks like in real life and on a massive scale. He showed it is doable, but we as entrepreneurs need to learn and perform these actions ourselves.
Third, we finally understood the marketplace place ministries is an equitable mission field for our level of Bible and business knowledge and experience since “our life is our ministry.” It has also meant dismantling the competitive “Holiness Hierarchy” mindset from within the church.
Feeding this unfortunate split between faith and work is a hierarchy of holiness in the mindset of most people of faith. Missionaries and pastors are at the top, and then people in the “helping professions”—medicine and law, followed by homemakers or the trades, the latter being physically dirty but morally clean. Then, farther down, there is business, but…morally questionable. And somewhere near the bottom of the scale of holiness there are stockbrokers and politicians (Stevens, 2006, p. 2).
What became apparent after much thought was that we were both “in full-time ministry” in our businesses and not “second class” Christians. We realized from the above “Holy Hierarchy” that the body of Christ, the church, has body parts that everyone is essential and needed (which of your body parts do you want to live without?). This realization meant we did not have to start or give to a non-profit to do or feel good or become “more spiritual or holier.” From within our own business, we are a marketplace ministry and fully honor God with our one-to-one personal engagement with vendors, clients, and employees in the marketplace.
Our businesses now combine the current concept of small group Bible studies with a new idea of small group businesses. Defining and working on these new daily habits are not going to be easy or quick to change from the lessons to be learned what God has called us to do. It is a journey with God, a journey toward maturing in our faith in business and life.
Fourth, and the biggest. We swapped our consumer for a producer mindset. It’s not how to give 10 percent or more to the church (Americans give far less) and spend the other 90 percent on ourselves, but exploring ways how to save to invest what’s left of the 90 percent. We’re to learn to earn. Not only with ourselves but also swapping out our giving to, versus our now investing in, others so they can do the same. Moving from earning $25K/year to $50K/year, or $100K/year to $200K/year. Or maybe even improving other people’s lives to finally become financially stable.
We continue to learn good, better, and best Godly business habits, the innovative and incremental improvements for ourselves and our business. These financial and productivity changes cascade blessings and prosperity for all, so we do become marketplace “brother’s keepers.”
Matt 13:8-9 (Amplified Classic) Other seeds fell on good soil, and yielded grain—some a hundred times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some thirty. He who has ears [to hear], let him be listening and let him [a]consider and [b]perceive and comprehend by hearing.
 Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done… In Business Biblical Foundations for Business as Mission, pg 16
 Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done… In Business Biblical Foundations for Business as Mission, pg 13