The past few years haven’t been easy for small businesses in the U.S. The pandemic threw the supply chain, the workforce, and the economy into chaos, forcing many small companies to close their doors, and sending workers home by the millions.
But small business owners are nothing if not resourceful, and many of you have pivoted into the new realities with determination and creativity. Of course, as Christians in business, we are called to a higher standard. Colossians 3:23 – 24 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
The benefit of tying your business standards to eternal values is that those values don’t change with the whims of culture or economic trends. The end result for Christian employers is a faithful witness to everyone. As Jesus told his disciples in John 15:8, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
Here are a few basic biblical principles that should guide your professional actions and attitudes.
GUIDING BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES
This first principle is fundamental, and once you truly get it, the rest makes much more sense. We’re talking about stewardship. In a nutshell, stewardship is what happens when you understand that “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,” as it says in Psalm 24.
So, as business owners and managers, we submit our work, our resources, and our profits to the Lord, because He is really the boss. We can have a kingdom perspective on everything, from hiring, to inventory, to profits and losses.
As managers, we turn to Christ, seeking first his kingdom and his righteousness, trusting that he will provide what we need to take care of all the business details. That includes taking care of our families.
Ultimately, success or failure in the business becomes God’s problem, while we do our best, letting him take care of the rest.
In the post-pandemic business environment, workplace norms have really shifted.
Many workers who left the office to work at home have stayed there. Lots of small businesses are dealing with hybrid workforces that have different sets of expectations.
This is where eternal biblical principles can keep you moving in the right direction.
Because, once you have God’s authority over your business figured out, you can focus on the horizontal relationships — how you interact with your employees, customers, suppliers, contractors, and competitors.
Most importantly, treat everyone with integrity. Deuteronomy 16:19 says, “You shall not distort justice, you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe.” What does that look like in a business context? Well, pay fair wages, show concern for your employees’ well-being, and treat your customers, contractors, and even your competitors, fairly.
According to smallbiztrends.com, workplace expectations have changed in recent years, especially along generational lines. In general, Millennials want a positive workplace culture and flexible schedules, and Gen Z workers value fun even more than money! Maintaining biblical values in your company can help meet the felt needs of every employee.
One way to maintain a healthy company culture is to set an example. As a business owner who belongs to Christ, you have an opportunity to demonstrate godly character to those around you. You can do that by pursuing righteous business practices. Here’s how:
Be honest. Communicate clearly. Keep your promises, and pursue excellence. As Larry Burkett once said, “There’s nothing more honoring to God than quality service or a quality product from a professing Christian.” Proverbs 22:29 confirms this: “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings.”
As a business owner or manager, you’re in a unique position to have an impact on your community through your generosity and compassion. We pray that you will use your professional resources and influence to further Christ’s kingdom right where you live.
On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions:
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