An entrepreneur is someone who creates and runs a new business for profit by selling products or services. An entrepreneur is usually a self-motivated person who is willing to work hard and do whatever is necessary to get the business off the ground. Entrepreneurs must be willing to face some lean times in the beginning if it takes a while for the business to become profitable. Entrepreneurship requires initiative, motivation, sacrifice, and patience—all traits that the Bible encourages (Galatians 5:22; 1 Peter 1:5–7).
However, entrepreneurship can become detrimental to one’s spiritual life if it becomes an idol or if the entrepreneur is serving Mammon rather than God (Luke 16:13). Some entrepreneurs become so immersed in work that they neglect family, friends, their health, and the Lord. When anything takes our total focus for an extended period of time, it can shift our lives out of balance. So Christian entrepreneurs must work to keep priorities straight and remember that a business with God’s blessing will fare better than one without it. The Lord will not tolerate our idols, so a new business owner must work to keep success from becoming more important than anything else.
Although Adam was not an entrepreneur, the first thing God did when He created Adam was to give him a job (Genesis 2:15). We are created to work, to use our minds and our hands to subdue this world and rule over it (Genesis 1:28). Scripture praises industriousness and hard work (Proverbs 14:23; 31:27; Ephesians 4:28). By contrast, those who are idle are harshly reprimanded (Proverbs 19:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:6). We are instructed to make it our “ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands” (1 Thessalonians 4:11).
Many entrepreneurs desire to become financially independent in order to care for their families, give to the needy, and fund missionary ventures. They have an idea, locate the funds to begin, and take on the responsibility for managing their own companies. When the motivation is honorable, and the business is honorable, God delights to bless it (Psalm 37:23). When an entrepreneur’s motive is selfish or sin-based, the business will not enjoy God’s blessing and may become a hindrance to God’s best plan for the owner’s life. As with all decisions, Christian must seek wisdom from the Lord before taking that first step in establishing a business (James 1:5). Part of wisdom is planning ahead (see Luke 14:28–29). When wisdom says it is a good idea, when all costs have been counted and the priorities are straight, entrepreneurship can be a benefit to the entrepreneur and to the world.