Pedro Adao spent half his life trying to win his father’s approval. As a kid, he only experienced “tough love.” His father worried about making sure Pedro ended up successful, but that meant criticizing him at every turn. A B+ wasn’t good enough on a math test. He needed to get an A. Having a steady job wasn’t good enough. He needed to make six figures.
So, trying to fill the heart wound left by his father, Pedro started a career in financial services. Watch any movie about Wall Street, and you know the financial services industry is full of cut-throat strategies and high-performance goals.
Pedro even began investing in real estate on the side. His only motivation was to be more and more successful… except more was never enough. He made some risky investments and eventually ended up $3 million in debt.
The bottom fell out.
Do you know why? It was because Pedro was suffering from heart wounds.
The traumas and difficulties of his childhood (heart wounds) caused him to believe LIES about himself. He was allowing the lies to dictate what success meant. The lies controlled his priorities and pushed him to make reckless choices.
Pedro needed the TRUTH to heal those heart wounds, and he found that healing in his Christian faith.
After deciding to follow Jesus, Pedro left his high-paying corporate job and spent four years reading the Bible. He spent four hours every day learning the TRUTH about life and realizing the LIES he had believed while working in the business world.
Pedro had to rediscover the foundation to success.
Now he’s even more successful than he was before. He’s influencing the influencers. He is working with one of the hosts from Shark Tank in his mastermind group. He’s running a growing, 7-figure business based on KINGDOM VALUES.
Does your business leave you feeling ENERGIZED, CONTENT and JOYFUL?
If not, then you might be suffering from heart wounds caused by lies about your identity. To help you identify these heart wounds, I’ll walk you through three common contradictions between Kingdom business and worldly business. If you see yourself in these contradictions, it might be an indicator that you have lies hiding in your life that affect the decisions you make in your business.
And once you identify heart wounds, you can begin the healing process.
3 Contradictions Between Kingdom Business and Worldly Business
When Pedro started reading his Bible for the first time, he began to discover contradictions between his past business mindset and his new faith in God. Business books and real estate courses said one thing, but the gospels said another.
How did business become so different from God’s word? It has to do with heart wounds and control. When people suffer from heart wounds, they allow bitterness and resentment to grow. As kids, we naturally protect ourselves from emotional hurt. We might get angry and defensive when someone criticizes us. We might isolate ourselves from other kids who bully us. But these defense mechanisms get distorted as we become adults. We end up wanting to CONTROL EVERYTHING just to avoid discomfort. We hurt other people because we don’t want to be hurt ourselves.
As you’ll see, the contradictions between Kingdom business and worldly business usually comes down to control issues.
1. People Don’t Give Credit to God
Pedro points to men like Jim Rohn who is known as the father of the success and self-improvement movement. Back then, Rohn presented sound life advice using Biblical stories. He didn’t offend people, but he showcased Biblical wisdom in a way that made people feel loved and included. He gave credit to the actual source.
The first contradiction between Kingdom business and worldly business lies in whether people give give credit where credit is due. Jim Rohn gave credit to God. He was open about the fact that his stories came from the Bible. But now success gurus like to take credit for themselves. They tweak stories just enough to call them “original” and then say, “Look what I invented.”
A Kingdom mindset gives credit to God for all blessings and success.
2. Businesses Tell Customers Half Truths
Pedro came from financial services where it’s OK to tell people half truths. It became second nature to ask, “What do I need to say to get the sale even if it hurts the client in the long-run?” He’d give clients a 280 pages prospectus that the average person will never read or understand.
He could justify treating clients badly because he wasn’t technically lying. He was just keeping some truths out of sight. It’s the client’s fault if they don’t read the legal language. It’s their fault if bad investment terms make them go bankrupt.
A Kingdom mindset prioritizes transparency and truthfulness based on the golden rule: treat others the way you’d like to be treated.
3. Money Becomes an Idol
You are not called to serve and honor your industry. You are called to serve and honor God above all. Too many businesspeople deflect blame for shady behavior by saying, “That’s just how it works in my industry.”
This excuse is dangerous and harmful. This excuse more or less says that money is more important than people. Eventually, you will start to think it’s OK to abuse people for money because, “That’s just how it works.” Find a way to serve God in that industry or leave. Don’t put the industry above God.
A Kingdom mindset puts people at the center. Money becomes a tool to serve people. A Kingdom business pushes back on the worldly charge to “Go build personal empires” and become a god unto yourself.
What Can I Do to Start Healing Heart Wounds and Creating A Kingdom Business?
Nobody is perfect. Even the apostles made mistakes and Jesus still used them for his Kingdom. You don't have to have everything together to start living for God's glory.
Sometimes the best way to begin the healing process is to take the first step. Here are two ways to get started!
Pedro’s motto is: “Love is the ultimate business strategy. Whoever loves the most wins.”
God is love. The two greatest commandments are to love God and love others. The only reason you and I exist on this planet is because of love. And love is one of the most powerful forces in the universe.
How does this apply to business? Let’s say that you’re competing for customers with another business in your city. You have to differentiate yourself and show why you’re the better choice. The best way to do this is to love the customer. To love means being willing to do more for the customer. When you love, you do “unreasonable” things, going above and beyond to make their lives better.
Love your customers more. Love your target market more. Eventually, you will be compelled to do things by love that you were never smart enough to do by strategy. Figuring out a customer’s problem will be your secret formula for marketing A/B tests.
Who wouldn’t want to buy from a business that puts loving the customer first in their list of priorities?
Address Your Own Heart Wounds
YOU are not a failure – that's not where your identity lies – but I know that you have failed in one way or another. We all have. And many of us continue to fail in the same ways, over and over again. Sometimes we call these repetitive failings addictions and sometimes we just call them “bad habits.”
Whatever your failing happens to be, it comes from a heart wound. Heart wounds create blind spots that hold us back from grasping the abundant life God has planned for us.
Pedro wrestled with his own heart wound early on in his career. Remember his “tough love” dad? Pedro was so desperate to win his dad’s affection that he threw himself into making money. He was too eager and took on too much wealth. He wanted to create wealth FAST so he could show his dad he was successful. Pedro ended up $3 million in debt, suicidal, and depressed.
Earth is a planet of orphans who don’t know their fathers. We need healing. Otherwise our brokenness will appear in our businesses and family relationships.
You’ll continue micromanaging your employees until they resign.
You’ll continue snapping at your kids until they resent you.
You’ll continue turning down business partnership opportunities out of fear.
Of course, negative consequences are just that: consequences. You can’t avoid these consequences without admitting that there’s an underlying problem. Are you willing to acknowledge that you have heart wounds that need healing? This is the first step to turning your life around.
Three Action Steps You Can Take Today
Thankfully, God provides healing through the Bible and mentors. All he asks is for humility and for you to give him control of the situation like a child trusts a parent. Here are three steps to lean into that childlike trust.
1. Invest in Getting Your Heart Healed
In one of his parables, Jesus describes the human heart like soil. A healthy and healed heart produces good fruit, but a worried, anxious, traumatized heart does not produce much. Look, it’s impossible to get out of childhood unscathed. You’re not to blame for everything that’s happened in your life.
All of us have rocks and weeds and wounds and traumas in our hearts. The cure is to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the lies. These lies are the rocks and weeds that compromise the heart soil. They’re what keep you from seeing God for who he truly is. Therefore, inner healing is the process of replacing lies with truth about what God says about each area of your life.
A pastor, trusted mentor, or spiritual coach can help with this. People rarely change on their own. We need community and accountability to shine light on the dark areas of our hearts.
2. Invest in Your Understanding of the Kingdom
We’ve talked about how the Kingdom and business worlds contradict one another. If you don’t understand how the kingdom works, you might never know that your business mindset is hurting other people.
Jesus’s core message was to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand. We can’t obey Jesus if we don’t understand what the Kingdom of God is.
An important thing to remember is that the Kingdom of God is not a democracy. Jesus is a king. He’s given us the Bible to help us understand how he rules. If you still believe that you are the king of your own life, you’re going to have a hard time understanding the Kingdom of God and what that means for your business.
Begin reading your Bible. You can’t understand God’s plan for your life until you know what he says. Reach out to other Christian leaders in your city. Talk to business owners who share the same values and ask them how they have built companies that serve the Kingdom.
3. Remember that Faith is an Action Word
In the end, love and serve people well. Who is the greatest in the Kingdom? It’s the servant. Many people live paralyzed lives wishing God would just tell them what to do. “If only I had a burning bush or a sign in the sky to tell me what to do!” The thing is, God has revealed what you should do. Love God. Love others. You can serve wherever you are. Open your eyes. People are hurting. There are problems everywhere.
Key Takeaway: A Kingdom business is a business that puts God first and loves customers above everything else.
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About Joseph Warren
Joseph Warren is a Christian Speaker, Podcast Host and Spiritual Coach. Joseph Warren offers Spiritual Coaching to Christian Business Owners who somehow find themselves in a spiritual rut. In just 90 days, he helps them avoid expensive divorces, break free from addiction, restore broken family relationships, and start living their Higher Purpose!