What should be the distinguishing features of a Christian business?
There can be found scores of proverbs, pieces of wisdom, and guidance in the Bible for business owners, managers, and employees. The way we treat others, our customers, employees, and peers should reflect the goodness of God in a Christian's life.
However, there are three Christian characteristics which form the core of what it means to be a Christian business. They are integrity, a commitment to excellence, and a commitment to people.
Essentially, integrity is doing what is right. We gain our understanding of right and wrong from the Bible. Do you study the Bible? Do you glean from it God's commands and expectations? Do you make decisions based on biblical principles? Do you filter your decisions first through the question of what will glorify God? "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).
A commitment to excellence will show in the way you treat people who work at your business and the way you treat your customers. It will especially show in your service and in your products. Titus 3:8 says, "The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people." When you are devoted to good service and good products, your business reflects your Christian faith well.
Maybe most important, the way you treat employees, peers, competitors, and customers will reveal your Savior. Your compensation should be generous, your recognition of good performance should be generous, and your growth opportunities should be generous. God is generous, so you must be as well if you want to reflect Him. Businesses that provide opportunities to meet the needs of its employees gain loyalty, hard work, and productivity. Paul, writing to those who oversaw slaves, instructed them to be fair and to remember they each had a heavenly master themselves (Colossians 4:1). Similarly, Christian businesses should treat their customers fairly. Clearly a business is intended to make a profit, but its aim should be to serve customers in a way that reflects the love of Christ.
Remember, that if you want to build your business based on biblical principles, you must know the Bible and its Author then commit to following what He instructs there. "Let all that you do be done in love" (1 Corinthians 16:14).
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