Family Business

“I must be about My Father’s business.” Luke 2:49

“The family business is to be fully engaged in the Father’s business.”

My thoughts today are about “family business.”

Before mega corporations and global commerce, family businesses were what built America, and produced the American dream. Small businesses were often begun in store fronts, the family living above the business and everyone in the family from youngest to oldest contributing something to the family’s business success. Hard work, long hours, and shared responsibility characterized the American dream.

As a preteen, I spent my summers in Kenmore, NY, with my paternal grandparents. It was a small family business typical of that generation, a barber shop in a duplex where my grandparents lived behind the shop, and my uncle worked in the barber shop with my grandfather and his family lived in the other side of the duplex. My job was to sweep the floors and straighten the magazines after the last customer had left (and then play on those marvelous, old-style, barbers’ chairs!) I remember those years fondly and their memories shaped who I have become – prizing the values of family, personal industry, and the individual contribution of working together for the common good.

Jesus was twelve years old, accompanying his family to a feast day in Jerusalem. His family and fellow travelers began their way home, when Joseph and Mary realized Jesus, their young son, was not anywhere among the travelers. They retraced their steps and two days later found the young boy in the Temple conversing with the teachers. Jesus’ response? “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2:49 NIV. Jesus, even at twelve, understood His purpose and established His priorities accordingly.

Let me ask you this: should you not also have the firm and clear conviction that your purpose is to be “about your Father’s business?” Paul wrote, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent n anybody.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NIV. As Christ-followers, the family business is to prioritize and fully engage yourself in the Father’s business – the eternal affairs of the Kingdom of God.

Here’s what that would look like: “Your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” Matthew 6:32-33 NLT. That’s where this gets practical, when you start “making the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” Father’s business is primary, not secondary; consistently, not sporadically.

Being brutally honest with your own heart, what would you say is your primary concern? If your first passion is not your Father’s business, you need to reevaluate and make significant changes. Now is always a good time for necessary adjustments. “And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for My sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will have eternal life.” Matthew 19:29 NLT. Tell me; where can you make a better long-term investment than that?

My prayer for you today is that eternity be more important than time and God more than self.