Does the bible teach us anything about running a business?
Or rather, what if it did?
Would you try to apply those principles?
Last weekend I attended a class on Biblical Entrepreneurship
(which you can learn about on the Nehemiah Project homepage).
The class began by using Jesus’ “Parable of the Talents”,
which you can read HERE from Matthew 25 if you are unfamiliar.
The NIV uses the word ‘gold’ in the place of ‘talents’,
which makes the idea more compelling...
If Jesus wants us to be responsible in business,
then why do we treat our work lives so different from everywhere else?
An example: if we are unhappy with our jobs
and therefore give less than complete effort
it will result in less benefit for all who are involved.
And what does Jesus say about this?
“You wicked and lazy servant...”
“throw that worthless servant out into the darkness...”
I am paraphrasing above,
but I it sounds like God will be unhappy
about us being wasteful with our time & resources.
In other words,
if we do not use what God provides us,
it may as well be as if we we sinned against Him!
As for our responsibility to do business “well”,
I have heard it said that all we need do is that which is legal.
However, cant we still do wrong towards others
even when the law says our action is permissible?
We may think we have no authority
when it has not been given to us by ‘management’,
but what I see is that which Christ has given us:
the duty to make a profit for ourselves and our employer,
and at the same time to provide our clients/customers
with the best possible service we can.
In the book, “There is no such thing as Business-Ethics.”,
John Maxwell uses the “Golden Rule”,
taken from the saying of Christ in Luke 6:31 -
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
as a measure of what we should provide in our businesses,
and not just our homes and neighborhoods.
What would happen if we used more of Jesus’ teachings
in every area of our lives?
We would go on “mission”
in our job & homes,
at school and in our neighborhoods,
in paying our bills and driving our cars,
and in dealing with ‘customer service’ by phone.
What if we began treating others as Christ has told us to?
Speaking & acting towards others
with more mercy, grace, patience, and love?
That would be a truly beautiful sight!
I believe we would feel more peace in us,
and see more peace around us.
And we may truly begin to glorify God,
by doing what He has asked us to.
Where will you start?