Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- January 31, 2014
What you are doing is not right. Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God… Give back to them immediately their fields, vineyards, olive groves and houses, and also the interest you are charging them. Nehemiah 5:9, 11
The best business practices are founded on the fear of the Lord. Almighty God, not the almighty dollar, is the standard for doing business. Just because the majority support an unseemly brand of commerce, does not give Christ followers permission to do the same. A Christian business leader can be shrewd without being selfish. They can take advantage of an economic opportunity without exploiting individuals. Best business practices are based on generosity, not greed.
Nehemiah rebukes the business leaders of his day for monetarily kicking their people while they were down. During the famine crisis those with more took all from those who were starving, in exchange for food. Desperate times expose the desperate to exploitation. However, for those who love Christ it is our opportunity to be Jesus by giving, not taking. A person who has fallen needs a lift up, not a push down. Best business practices help those in need with economic solutions.
If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest. Exodus 22:25
Regardless of the industry, we can exemplify integrity. If ministers, we can model care for the poor. If bankers, we can offer full disclosure in our financial dealings. If manufacturing, we can constantly upgrade the safety conditions of the workplace. If insurance, we can reward policy holders who have an excellent claims history. If a service company, we can exceed the expectations of the customer. If medical, we can offer affordable healthcare. If education, we can maximize technology. In all work sectors we have daily opportunities to employ best practices.
Furthermore, by God’s grace create a culture of generosity in your company. A company known for giving back to the community will be supported by the community. A generous leader is worth following. Much better to be known as a benevolent George Bailey than a crusty old penny pinching Mr. Potter. Most of all look to your Heavenly Father as the ultimate Giver of all things good, beginning with His son Jesus. Best business practices have their genesis in God. Learn about integrity in business from my good friend Lee McCutchan… http://bit.ly/1dB8neq
“We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.” James 4:13-15, The Message
Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me in my work to model Your best practices for Your glory.
Related Readings: Isaiah 2:22; Proverbs 12:14, 27:23; Luke 12:18-20; 2 John 1:8
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