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Christian Values in Business

By December 29, 2023No Comments

Your Christian Faith and Your Business Are Not Mutually Exclusive

If you are a Christian, you probably believe that it is God’s will to live out sound biblical principles in your day-to-day life. Sometimes, however, these values and practices take a backseat when it comes to business dealings. It might be that you feel like business and faith are such vastly different worlds that biblical principles don’t apply to your business. Or you might be unsure as to what the Bible says about business in general.

Read on if you are a Christian business owner who wants to learn more about integrating your faith with your business.

First things first: do Christian faith principles even belong in a conversation about business? We say, yes! Jesus clearly intended us to understand that our faith touches every aspect of our lives when He gave us this command in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (NASB). “Everything” encompasses everything, which means that our business practices and values should not be exempted from sound biblical influence.

So exactly in which ways does the Bible influence our business practices and values? Are there any verses that speak directly about business dealings? And which general Christian principles and values apply to business? We would like to share with you the following verses we found that address these questions:

1. Regarding Your Employees

Colossians 4:1 teaches masters (which in our modern context can be seen as the equivalent of business owners or bosses) to “provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven” (NIV). In other words, since you understand that you as a leader in business ultimately heed and are accountable to an even greater “boss”, you should act towards your employees justly and fairly, particularly in terms of salaries or wages.

Furthermore, in Proverbs 3:27, Deuteronomy 24:14-15, and in Leviticus 19:13, we learn that a “master” (or in our context, “boss”) should always ensure that his servants are paid on time and at a fair rate.

Jesus also taught us how to be the ultimate leader: by putting yourself last and placing others ahead of yourself. A good biblical leader doesn’t lord it over his inferiors, on the contrary, he approaches them as if he is a servant: “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:41-45, NIV, emphasis added).

A great resource for learning about biblical business mindsets and practices is the Lifework Leadership program. We particularly agree with this quote from one of their reading resources: “…leaders have amazing opportunities to exercise compassion to the ‘neighbours’ who come to work with them every day”.

Practical Application: Have systems, processes, and contracts in place that help you manage your human resources in a just and fair manner. Consider signing up for biblically informed training programs like Lifework Leadership 2024

2. Going the Extra Mile

As believers, Jesus also taught us to go above and beyond the expectations placed on us. This means not just delivering the bare minimum to our clients and partners, but making sure that their needs are met, and then some! We see this teaching of Jesus in Matthew 5:41, where He says, “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles”.

This principle can also be applied in the attitude that you have toward your clients: make sure they know it is a pleasure to serve them and see them as persons beyond their utility for your business in terms of profits.

Practical Application: On top of the deliverables that are included in a product, perhaps you can add a free resource such as a guide or a pro bono hour on top of the hours budgeted for a specific project. Go the extra mile by contacting your client with a birthday message or note a personal anecdote regarding your client to include in your next conversation, making it clear that you are paying attention when they speak.

3. Pray About Everything

In business, you are faced with new and daunting challenges almost daily. These include hiring the right people, selling, or buying business assets, and managing your finances (among many others). All of these can be taxing on your mental health and create anxiety and even confusion.

Christ teaches us to “not be anxious for anything”, and again, this means anything, including challenges in your business. Instead, we ought to remember to “in everything, by prayer and supplication make your requests known to God” (Philippians 4:6-7, ESV). God is interested in every decision you make, including those regarding your business. And on top of that, He wants your business to do well, which is why He will grant you wisdom if you ask Him for it in prayer.

Practical Application: The next time you find yourself anxious about a business decision or looming deadline, offer it up to God in prayer. Regardless of where you are, you can always approach God in silent prayer.

4. Let Everything You Do Be Unto God

In the long run, what sustains your business won’t be profits (which fluctuate) or stellar employees (who come and go), but the knowledge that everything you do is ultimately for a higher purpose. And for a Christian, our higher purpose is to bring glory to God. If you as a business owner keep this in mind, you will be less likely to be swayed by greed, covetousness, or pride.

Practical Application: Glorifying God includes not only what you do but also how you do it. If you find yourself clenching your teeth when having to do something at work, or chasing after a big paycheck, check in with God through prayer whether it brings Him glory and then re-evaluate your attitude and motivations.

Conclusion: We are a Light in the World

As business owners, we can potentially have a greater impact on the world through our businesses than we might have as individual Christians. We can achieve this not only through our interactions with our employees and clients, but also in making prayerful decisions which are in line with the will of God revealed to us through God-given wisdom and the Bible.

At Cross, we build our company and practices on the foundation of biblical principles to bring glory to God and impact our communities. We pray that you will consider the biblical principles that we discussed above, and we also pray for a successful 2024 for you and your business!

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