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The secular-sacred dichotomy

I was talking to some businessmen tonight who faced messy situations in a business that had been run into the ground. It was losing money and had so many problems, its leaders had to take it into bankruptcy. Negative cash flow, unions airing grievances, bad marketing – on and on it went. &nbsp…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
I was talking to some businessmen tonight who faced messy situations in a business that had been run into the ground. It was losing money and had so many problems, its leaders had to take it into bankruptcy. Negative cash flow, unions airing grievances, bad marketing – on and on it went.
 
Their situation made me ask, what is the spiritual dimension of complex issues like this one?  We may find ourselves praying, “God, I am so overwhelmed here, what do I do?” And the larger question may be: What does God want us to do with our practical everyday problems? Do we live our iives subconsciously embracing a secular/sacred dichotomy?
No easy answers, but I come back to this truth: God gave you a brain – use it.  For example, I have a friend who owns a business. He uses the business as a platform to help people in a lot of ways. His business took a dive last year and he resurrected it using what he calls his “Ten S Filter.”
  1. Substantiate – look for the reality in a situation
  2. Stress – create a sense of urgency
  3. Sort – clarify by putting things into categories
  4. Suss – evaluate and scope out opportunities
  5. Speed – increase the velocity of your decision-making
  6. Synchronicity – look for the way things fit together
  7. Simplify – bureaucracies the world over need this
  8. Streamline – find new efficiencies
  9. Standardize – new many custom projects is costly
  10. Sustain – put support structures in place
Here’s the point: We can over-spiritualize our lives. My friend may not have a Bible verse for each principle, but still find God in the midst of his process. At college I learned “all truth is God’s truth.” In other words, if it’s true, God is invested in it – an answer to my struggles may come packaged in surprising ways like the Ten S Filter, but that doesn’t diminish its relevance.
 
What difficult situations or complex opportunities do you face? You may already have heard God about what to do and just not recognized his voice.

Comments (4)

  • I’ve found the solution to my complicated business problems is usually answered by divine wisdom. There is a “kingdom principled” way of doing business where profit isn’t the bottom line and seeking the Kingdom is. It’s hard to sell that approach to your board, but in the end, that approach is the one that will give you the most profit and the ability to sleep at night. When I come up with an acrostic to support that theory…I’ll let you know. 😉

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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