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Founder’s Disease

Do you know the symptoms of Founder's Disease? What about the potential consequences? What is the remedy? 

Let's explore this topic together in today's devotional. 

Founder’s Disease

“But now your kingdom shall not continue.  The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” — 1 Samuel 13:14.

According to the Small Business Administration, and many other studies, most businesses fail within ten years, and most family businesses do not make it beyond the third generation. However, it does not have to be so! God wants us to build kingdom businesses that can last at least three generations.

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.” — Proverbs 13:22

One of the keys in building these multi-generational businesses is avoiding Founder’s Disease.  Founder’s Disease occurs when the originator of a business or organization is consumed with oneself, and their sense of entitlement hinders them from receiving input from others and allowing others to hold them accountable. Although this disease is common among original founders, other leaders are not immune to it. 

Founder's Disease, like any other disease, has great consequences, which include:

  • A stressful life, devoid of true peace and joy
  • Harm of others
  • Physical death
  • Inability to pass blessings on to your children

“...For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.” I Samuel 13:13b  

God's will for King Saul was that his descendants would reign over the kingdom of Israel forever.  However, King Saul was afflicted with Founder’s Disease and lost everything, including the opportunity for his son to become the second king of Israel.  We do not know how his other sons behaved, but by all accounts we know that one of his sons, Jonathan, acted honourably.  As a matter of fact, Jonathan was a good friend to David, doing everything he could to protect him, even though he was fully aware that David was a threat to his inheritance.

“So Jonathan said to him, ‘By no means! You shall not die! Indeed, my father will do nothing either great or small without first telling me, and why should my father hide this thing from me?  It is not so!’  Then David took an oath again and said, ‘Your father certainly knows that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said, do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved, but truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.’  So Jonathan said to David, ‘Whatever you yourself desire, I will do it for you.’" — I Samuel 20:2-4. 

“Now Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as his own soul.” I Samuel 20:17.

In spite of Jonathan's faithfulness and loyalty, his father's actions caused him and his brothers to lose their inheritance and their lives.

“Then the Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons, and the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchisshua, Saul's sons.” I Samuel 31:2

We often do not realize the impact our actions have on our loved ones.  We become so consumed with our business lives that we miss the fact that our actions have a negative or positive impact on our children.  Of course, that impact can be reversible but why take the risk and make it more difficult for your children to realize a life of promise?

“You shall not bow down to them nor serve them.  For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments.”Exodus 20:5-6

If your parents did not pass down blessings upon your life, know that your obedience to Christ during your lifetime can reverse the curse for you and future generations.   As long as your descendants continue to obey the Lord, they will not be affected by their ancestor's actions.

Reflect upon your current actions.  What type of legacy will you leave for your children and grandchildren?  Seek the Lord for wisdom and grace to ensure that it will be a legacy of God's mercy upon their lives.

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Posted on Monday, 02 November 2020

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