I LOVE ABC’s Shark Tank. I can’t get enough of this show. Maybe it’s because of the competitive nature of the “sharks.” It could be because I love keeping up with technology and it’s fascinating to see what innovations are coming down the pipeline (although not everything is a techy gadget). Whatever it is, I love this show.
If you are not familiar with Shark Tank, the premise is that there are five self-made millionaire and billionaire entrepreneurs and investors that are offering up their own money to invest in startup companies that come and make a pitch. It can sometimes be pretty brutal on the “shark bait” end or, in some instances, a great opportunity is pitched and the sharks turn on one another. That’s when it gets interesting. I have seen multi-million dollar operations walk out the door, and I have seen a 15-year-old girl literally name her deal. Check out an episode of the show below (clip via YouTube):
Watching a lot of this show, there are a few things I have noticed that Christians may be able to learn from watching the show.
THE SHARKS RECOGNIZE DECEPTION
It happens all the time. An entrepreneur will come in looking for a Shark to offer the lifeline their dying company desperately needs. But in an attempt to project confidence, they mention all the “good” numbers and hope the sharks don’t ask about their bad ones. But these sharks are wise, experienced and they can smell deception from a mile away. They actually call this scenario “blood in the water.”
For Christians, the Bible tells us that our enemy is a “deceiver.” He wraps his lies in truth so that they seem to make sense. In Matthew 4, Satan tempts Jesus by quoting Scripture (see also HERE). Peter tells us our enemy, the devil, “is like a prowling lion, waiting for someone to devour.” The world will throw all kinds of deceptive teaching at us. In some cases, folks will use the Bible to make their case, even when the basis of their argument goes against the Biblical grain. The things the world throws at us will seem attractive, they will seem to make sense and it will be tempting to accept them.
Believers should strive to learn the Word of God so intimately that they recognize deception at first glance, and treat it as viciously as the Sharks do on the show.
THE SHARKS SAY “NO” TO A LOT OF GREAT IDEAS
Shark Tank airs on ABC, Friday Nights at 9/8c.I’m shocked at how often sharks will compliment a business and then say, “I’m Out.” They know their skill sets and they are comfortable with what they bring to the table. In some instances, they know that while it could be a great financial investment, it will pull their time investment away from more important projects.
There are a lot of great things in life. Great opportunities come our way, and it can be tempting to bite on them. Keeping our priorities, our giftedness, our calling in check will help us fish through some of these. Here are some questions to ask:
- Is this a good thing? (Philippians 4:8)
- Is it going to take my focus off of more important things?
- Is it in line with the gifts and passions God has uniquely given me? (Romans 12:6-8)
We each have unique “spiritual DNA.” God made us with special purposes and skills. We will find a great amount of fulfillment in life when we allow those things to guide our decisions.
THE SHARKS EXPECT GROWTH
The sharks know that healthy companies will grow. They look for companies with growth patterns prior to entering the tank. They also only invest if they expect continued growth.
Likewise, for Christians, growth is only natural. We should be maturing in our faith. We should not only know more of our Bible now than when we first believed, but we should grow in knowing it — and knowing God — more deeply. We should be able to explain things that used to be tough for us to understand. The writer of Hebrews actually says that the believers ought to have moved along a natural progression to being teachers already. IT IS POSSIBLE TO STUNT YOUR GROWTH. It is possible to consume, consume, consume church and by never exercising what we learn, become spiritually obese and out of shape. It is possible to keep obstacles in your life that act as obstacles to keep you from growing and keep you from being healthy.
What is your favorite show? Can Christians learn anything from it?