It was more than 10 years ago when I decided to leave a well paying consulting job and to venture into the food and beverage business. Being a consultant by profession, I prided myself in my abilities to think critically, to spot “gaps” and to come up with the best solutions based on solid data analysis. I was very critical and unforgiving of others who, in my opinion, were never bright enough to see the big picture. It was this overconfidence that led me into a downward spiral.
Where others failed in business, I believed I could easily turn it around within one to two years. I was so single-minded in my pursuit that I even convinced myself that it was God’s calling - that somehow God will use my success to change and transform lives….that somehow through my business, God will increase my influence to make an impact for Him. “There was no way He would let me fail because I was doing what I was called to do.” That was such a well rehearsed self-talk that I began to use the Lord’s name in vain. Looking back, I realised that in my secret heart of hearts, I was blinded by greed and the dream of achieving financial freedom.
It was no surprise that the business failed and I had to close down business. I went back into employment and worked to pay off huge debts. But I gained so much more in the process. I have experienced God’s redemptive love, grace and mercy. God sent many brothers and sisters in Christ to encourage me and to help me realise that failure does not define me. My identity is anchored in Christ. God softened my heart to realise that the most deeply grieved throughout this ordeal was my wife and for once, to start valuing her more than myself, to place her needs before mine. Asked some time back by my wife if I regretted my actions, my reply was “I did regret loving myself more than you but it was probably because of this experience that we are still happily married.”. God is infinitely wise. Most importantly, the experience started me on a faith journey of really knowing my God and how much He loves me. I realise now that real matter was the matter of the heart. My heart was not right before God. My actions and behaviour must come from intentions that are guided by the Holy Spirit.