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What is it like being a Christian businessman?

By Michael O’Brien, Life group leader, Jubilee Church Wirral

Gardening work by Michael O’Brien of Jubilee Church Wirral

I started working for myself 25 years ago, I did not know what a businessman was supposed to be.

I started digging-over gardens for £2 an hour and it grew from there. As the years rolled by I learnt new trades in the garden business but still I did not know where I was going with all this knowledge.

All I knew was, I could make money and talk people into getting jobs done that they didn’t really need doing. More money for me.

False selling for gain, and as a businessman I thought it was the norm. As I learnt even more skills like fencing and laying patios and decking I asked God if I could become a landscaper, but all doors were shut – by God.

I wasn’t ready, I thought, and for years I hoodwinked people out of their money and I thought there was nothing wrong with this practice and then the realisation of what I was doing was highlighted by God, who said change your ways and I will bless you.

Boy that was hard, and I struggled with doing a good job, God wanted excellence in my workmanship. Over the years I had got sloppy with my work, getting call-backs for bad jobs.

It was very difficult to price jobs properly, treating rich people the same as poor people, ie a flat rate.

It took me years to refine everything with the help of the Holy Spirit, prompting me and encouraging me. I am now God’s servant, working for Him, and the big jobs are coming in.

I work in excellence, no call-backs, no guilt, peace from God.

Now when I go to price a job I am there to bless people, to listen to their struggles, I am God’s counsellor.

God helps me with pricing, some jobs I do for nothing, some I go the extra mile and God blesses. Do I always get it right? No. Do I have bad business habits? Yes.

I am a yes man, to everybody that asks me to do a job by saying “yes” I sometimes let them down, I should be saying “no sorry, I am too busy,” so I am still a work in progress.

When I was writing this, I reflected on my actions. The money I was making, before I changed, was dirty money. Being born again means you work for God, not yourself.

God is holy and that is how He expects His servants to behave.

From now on I will always try to put God first.

 

Michael and Helen O'Brien Jubilee Church Wirral

Michael O’Brien with his wife Helen

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