Aside from Christ himself, I’ve always looked up to Paul as the perfect example of how a Christian should live.
Despite being a successful business owner, his entire life revolved around evangelism and he practically never took his eyes off his one true goal: following his assignment from God.
As a business owner myself, his teachings serve as a constant reminder of why I do what I do!
I spend a lot of time reflecting on the lessons he leaves for us, and so here are 3 of the main ones that have helped shape my life and business.
1) He worked for the greater good of others
Paul didn’t take up shop as a tentmaker to benefit himself.
He did it to fund his ministry and relieve the church of any financial obligations to him.
And he did to give himself the best means to follow his assignment from God!
Although many entrepreneurs start out with these kinds of motivations, the money and success are tough temptations to fight.
It takes incredible strength and willpower… and for me, it meant trusting in and giving myself to Christ in a whole new way.
I won’t lie and say that I’ve never been tempted to use money I earned for my own benefit first before putting it towards my ministry.
It’s easy to tell ourselves we worked hard, so we deserve it.
But thanks to the Lord, I’ve always had the strength to stay focused on my mission to serve others and put their needs first.
I think Paul’s amazing ability to remain selfless goes hand-in-hand with the next big lesson we can learn from him…
2) He remained humble — even when accomplishing great things
Paul possessed great skill in working with his hands, ran a successful business, and was a very educated man.
For these reasons, he wielded levels of influence and respect that many men could only dream of.
Yet, he always remained incredibly humble. His accomplishments did not go to his head, and he did not let them lift him above others.
There are countless examples in scripture that show us how Paul felt.
In Philippians 3:7 he says “…But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.”
Paul was so focused on his assignment from God that he considered any personal gains for him as nothing but distractions!
If that isn’t dedication to building the Kingdom and spreading the word of God, then I don’t know what is!
This attitude from Paul reminds me of why I started my business every day.
If I wanted to, I could be living in a mansion, driving fancy cars, and throwing stacks of money around like all the kids on the internet seem to be doing these days.
And sadly, that kind of behavior has become so normal I don’t think many people would even bat an eye.
But that’s not why I do this! And Paul serves as an amazing reminder that no matter what we accomplish here on earth…
It all pales in comparison to being reconciled to Christ.
3) He didn’t care what others thought about him
This one hits home for me.
You see, when I first started having some real success as a digital tentmaker, one of the first things I did was buy my wife a brand new Nissan Murano.
Her MS had taken a turn for the worst at that point in time, so I wanted to provide her with something comfortable.
At first she was ecstatic!
Because her old car was almost 20 years old… and the beat up, uncomfortable seats plus the lack of any air conditioning made it very difficult for her to drive.
However, once she drove around in the new Murano for a couple weeks, she started getting funny looks from people.
People don’t have much money where we’re from in Texas. So even something like a Nissan Murano sticks out like a sore thumb.
We started having people ask us how we afforded it and it made us feel incredibly self-conscious. In fact, my wife even admitted to feeling embarrassed driving it — even though it was the perfect car for her health condition!
What I learned from Paul is that sometimes you just can’t let what others think or say get to you.
I knew my mission was just. And besides, what were the alternatives?
Sell the Murano and buy back my wife’s old car — making her suffer every time she has to drive somewhere?
It’s tough, because sometimes the opinions you need to block out are those of our friends, family, and loved ones.
But as I’m sure you know, in the end there is only ONE person we need to seek approval from. And if our actions are pleasing to Him, then we cannot let what others think throw us off course.
Like I said before, Paul is a big inspiration to me and digital tentmakers everywhere.
He’s the perfect example of what it means to run a business and provide more for your family…
While never losing sight of the real mission at hand: to please God and strive to be the best Christians we possibly can be.
These are just 3 of the many lessons we can learn from Paul. So I’m curious to know, what other teachings of his do you use in your life?
Feel free to click “reply” and let me know!
Your brother in Christ,