His Eye is on the Sparrow, So What are you Worried About? 3 Ways to Relieve the Stress and Worry of Running a Businessby David Ferguson
As the famous gospel song goes, “His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.” I sometimes have to remind myself of this when I start to worry about things in my business. And there is a lot to worry about…customer issues, staff issues, legal issues, and the biggest worry of all, financial issues!
When I get to the point where I feel myself worrying and stressing too much about a situation, I have to remind myself that God is watching over me and revisit Matthew 6:26-29, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”
What I draw from this scripture is that God has my back and it allows me to re-focus from the worry of the situation and think strategically about what I need to do. It reminds me that fear is not from God, but that God has given me power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). And that is exactly the Jesus Led Business recipe for how to deal with these situations of worry and stress when they come.
Use your power. The first step is to stop feeling like you are helpless in the situation. What I find is most of the time I am worrying and fearful because I have an incomplete picture of the situation. If I am worried about losing a contract or not being able to make payroll, what helps me is to spend a few hours updating my budget spreadsheet, detailing all my expenses and revenue so that I have a clear understanding of exactly what the impact of the loss would be. You will always have incomplete information, but that is life. So, I like to consider what the worst-case scenario would be and what the most likely case will be and plan accordingly. Generally, as soon as I do that, I start to re-gain my power and see clearly actions that I can take to solve the problem. Not all solutions are pleasant. It may mean that if it is confirmed that a contract is lost, then I may have to layoff X number of employees by a certain date. While the decision is not pleasant, at least I now know what action I must take if the situation occurs. Exercising my power to update my budget spreadsheet removes the fear (but, perhaps, not the stress). Or, using my power to update my budget spreadsheet helps me see that the situation is temporary and if I just adjust paying a few bills, then I’ll be able to make everything work. The key is gathering all the information you can so that you can exert your power on the situation.
Recognize your love. Stay focused on the fact that God loves us and is watching over us. And even if your worst-case scenario comes to pass, you know it’s not the end of everything, it’s just a new chapter opening and a journey to something new and most likely better. As mentioned above, some options can be really bad. It could be that the most likely scenario is you’re going out of business, and there’s nothing you can really do about it. Well, there is. You can sit there and continue to worry and stress yourself about the effects of losing everything or you can focus on the fact that you believe in a God that loves you. He can provide miracles and no matter what, He has a plan for you. You can be sure in your faith that God is in control, even when it seems that you are not. (NOTE: When you get to this point and stay faithful, it’s when I have discovered God really shows you his power through miracles. To recognize the miracle you have to get to the point where you know it wasn’t through anything you did that you survived)!
Stay focused. This is where the self-discipline of 2 Timothy 1:7 comes into play. From steps 1 and 2 above, I would hope that you have developed a Plan, A, B, C, and D (I have sometimes gone as far as Plan G) so that regardless of what life tosses your way, you have a thought out plan of action. The key now is to stick to your plans. Continue to monitor the situation so that as new information comes in, you can quickly adjust your models and tweak your plans if needed. Continue to stay in pray and trust in God and be ready for whatever comes your way. At this point, there still may be a little fear, worry, and stress but there is also hope and comfort that you are prepared, even for the worst. If the worst does come to pass, instead of falling into deep depression and letting the world continue to beat up on you, you can tap into the strength and faith in God to keep moving through your storm.
So when you’re faced with challenges and you feel worry, fear, and his little brother doubt taking control of your thoughts and stressing you out, think about the sparrow and how God is watching over it and you. Then, move forward with a solid strategy to use your power by planning and being prepared, staying faithful and recognizing that God has your back and loves you. Stay focused and be vigilant on the challenge and maintain the discipline of sticking to your plans and giving all your fears and worry over to God.
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And, in the meanwhile, continue to… Pray About It, Be About It, and Praise About It!
Thanks for reading and God Bless.