Thursday, October 18, 2012

8 Rules for Work and Business

Used with permission:
My wife and daughter have run a karate school for nearly 20 years now, and we have taken our share of lumps, bumps and terrors, both business and personal.  During that time period, I came to the foot of the cross, and accepted Christ as my Lord, and that complicated everything.

Now, most if not all of the advise we are freely and commercially  given is worldly, and follow simple dictates like:

1) Business is Business
2) If it is going to be, its up to you.
3) If you help enough other people get what they want, you will get what you want.

The problem with number 1 is that if Business is outside of the grasp of God, and you are allowed to act in worldly manner to succeed in business, because it is business, then you are outside of the will of God by choice.

If you have chosen one of the biggest parts of your life to NOT follow God, it is hard to maintain the attitude that you are indeed a Christian.  We discovered that early, so we sought help and advise on how to deal with that important issue.  The most common answer we got was: The Parable of the Unjust Stewart - Luke 16:1-9. Seems pretty clear when Jesus says, "And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings. (ESV).  It is wise, it seems, that we plan for failure by tricking people in business.  See, Jesus said so.

Here is the problem.  You can't read the entire bible 1 verse at a time, and without looking at the context, from time to time.  When Jesus talks about worldly wise people, it is always in the context that God has little use for them, because worldly wisdom is foolishness to God. Jesus is slamming the worldly wise.  He is telling us that we are to use God's wisdom as well as the unrighteous use worldly wisdom with respect to money.  In other words, this is NOT licence to cheat people.  Rather and example of being shrewd with the wisdom of God.  Money is not even part of the real message.

SO #1 IS WRONG. Business is just another mission field, and is to be treated as such.  God is a 24/7 life style.

The last 2, I deal with in How to Successfully Spiritualize Greed.  What it comes down to is that business is God's just as much as Church is, and he can not be envoked or used as a reason or method to harm any of God's creatures.

That caused a big problem for us.  How do you deal with the commands of God in the Business World?  How does one follow Jesus there?

And that brings us to the card shown above, and again here.  8 simple rules for the business world, drawn from the word of God, and solid within the context of each rule.  God is everywhere, even in business.

1. Always work Hard, even if you are not being treated fairly. - Colossians 3:23 We are told over and over again, that we are to work hard, as if it is for the Lord, and not complain.  The extreme example is even given those who are in servitude.  God wants us to be a good example for him to use.
2. Pay your debts. - Psalm 37:21 - hard to argue this one.
3. Pay your taxes. - Romans 13:6 - it surprises me that I know dozens of Christians who cheat on their taxes, or claim that they do, because they are unfair, and not Godly.  Hey, there are lots of things my government does that I deplore, but Jesus is pretty clear about taxes.  Pay them.
4. Treat all people fairly; be obvious about it - 2 Corinthians 8:21 - Again, pretty direct.
5. Don't do what everyone else is doing, just because everyone else is doing it. - Romans 12:2 The actual context of the verse is a tad more direct.  It says NOT TO DO WHAT THE WORLD IS DOING, as the world IS EVIL.  That old addage, don't re-invent the wheel simply does not always apply.  Sometimes, the wheel is just plain wrong, and you need to do it God's way.
6. Pride comes before the fall.  Be humble at all times. - Proverbs 16:18 There is a fine line between competitive drive and bragging.  This verse is about that line.  I have fallen on this very point in my life so many times, I begin to think I am hard wired to fail in it.  Yet, I force humility to come out of my mouth as appology for the error.
7. Even if it seems too hard and pointless, do it as if it has already worked. - I Corinthians 9:24  All things work together for those who have answered God's call.  Work like you actually believe the path you are on is of value to God, because it is. If you have run your work life for God, that is the promise - run like you have already won.  That is called faith.  Let God make it happen for you.  You just do the work.
8. Take risks. - Ecclesiastes 11:4 - With number 7 in mind, and realizing that God does not want you to be foolish, it is in fact hard to win, if you do not play.  We are not born to fear, but joy.

If you mission field is owning a business, act like you are of Christ, because you are.  If you work for someone, act as if your work matters to Jesus, because it does.

Out into the world of God we go, to help others come to the peace and joy of grace, which we have ourselves already partaken.


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