Business Books vs The Bible - The Struggle is Real

Just this morning, I reached for a new favorite business book called Double Double.

Typically, it's the Bible I'd be reading first thing. But for the past few days, I've been looking for solid business advice, and this book was recommended by a friend... and I was eating it up. In fact, I hate to admit this, for a week or so there it was replacing my Bible diet.

Something was different this morning. I felt a wave of conviction come over me as I went for the Double Double book, while the Bible sat right beside me, looking up at me with its big brown binding.

"Conviction" is a Christian term for a sharp pang of guilt felt in the spirit of someone who is set apart to God's calling. As a spiritual being seeking God's purposes, this thing called "conviction" is brought by the Holy Spirit to let you know that what you're about to do would displease God.  It's an internal alert system more potent and powerful than "conscience" and it's powered by grace - because it brings you to a clear decision between God's will and your own Free will.

Simply put, when you go against "conscience" your greatest sin is against yourself. When you go against the Holy Spirit's conviction, you willfully sin against God himself.

This time I heeded the warning, and reached for the Bible instead of Double Double and opened to a random page.

Here's what I landed on:

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

5 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread.
6 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
7 They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”
8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 
9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 
10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 
11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 
12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

In this passage, Jesus is warning his closest followers the 12 disciples to avoid looking outside of him  (God) for what they need. 

In that time, the Pharisees and Sadducees (weird names I know, but that's actually what they were called) were highly regarded religious and governmental authorities who were influential, and who routinely abused their power for personal gain. They really didn't like Jesus, because he preached against their flashiness, fluff, and self-righteousness. He basically called them out on their total misrepresentation of God. So why did Jesus mention yeast? Yeast is an ingredient used in baking bread that causes it to rise, and "double" allowing your bread to get big and feed more people. The disciples were afraid they wouldn't have enough, but Jesus had already done some major miracles, like feeding thousands of people till they were more than full with just a few loaves of bread. He had proven through action that faith was enough to yield massive returns. 

Interesting that God should direct me to this passage, when the book I was about to read was "Double Double" - that's exactly how God shows up... it's masterful, it's highly personal, it shows incredible love and focus on us as individuals. It's also a little scary (that's the "Fear of the Lord" you might hear people talking about) but it also makes me melt - I love Him for caring enough to get involved with the details of my life and reaffirm my faith on such a regular basis.

I'm reminded to rely on God, to put him first, and to be on guard for the voices that distract me from the one who makes miracles happen.

Is it possible to read business books and seek the Lord at the same time? Of course. Is the book "Double Double" an instrument of the devil? Not necessarily - God convicted me because I was getting distracted and going down the wrong road by letting it usurp his authority in my life. I believe balance is possible - but it's a DAILY walk.

The Ambitious Christian Woman

Ambitious Christian Women

Now I want to invite you, if you're a Christian woman, to join my newly formed Facebook group, "Ambitious Christian Women." We are a small but mighty tribe of women who fear God and want to make an impact for His glory. I want to start a conversation about this balance of Bible and business, because it's really important in this age of distraction to stay focused on what matters. Hopefully we can bring some light into one another's feeds. Join me there.

With love.

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Content by Laura Gabriele