What principles should guide how I conduct my business? - Business - TouchPoints

What principles should guide how I conduct my business?

Ecclesiastes 9:10Whatever you do, do well.

God calls you to pursue excellence. Excellence expresses your appreciation of the gifts God has given you, and it reveals the value you place on others. Pursuing excellence is also a way of showing your gratitude for God’s priceless gift of time.

Leviticus 19:13Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. Do not make your hired workers wait until the next day to receive their pay.

Your integrity must extend to both your customers and your workers. They should receive exactly what you have promised, when you promised it.

1 Timothy 5:18The Scripture says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their pay!”

Be honest and fair to coworkers and employees, promptly paying them what they have earned. If any natural benefits might come from the work itself, consider letting your workers take advantage of them.

Proverbs 16:11The Lord demands accurate scales and balances; he sets the standards for fairness.

Integrity is an essential mark of a Christian. Anything less than complete honesty dishonors the Lord and harms those you lead and serve.

Genesis 23:10-16Ephron . . . answered Abraham as the others listened, speaking publicly before all the Hittite elders of the town. “No, my lord,” he said to Abraham, “please listen to me. I will give you the field and the cave. Here in the presence of my people, I give it to you. Go and bury your dead.” Abraham again bowed low before the citizens of the land, and he replied to Ephron as everyone listened. “No, listen to me. I will buy it from you. Let me pay the full price for the field so I can bury my dead there.” Ephron answered Abraham, “My lord, please listen to me. The land is worth 400 pieces of silver, but what is that between friends? Go ahead and bury your dead.” So Abraham agreed to Ephron’s price.

Abraham’s interaction with Ephron models the kind of respect you should show others from other cultures when doing business with them. Abraham could have gotten a great deal if he had accepted Ephron’s first offer, but he may have actually offended his Hittite neighbor. In today’s international marketplace, keep cultural dynamics in mind when negotiating with others.

Deuteronomy 25:15-16Always use honest weights and measures, so that you may enjoy a long life in the land the Lord your God is giving you. All who cheat with dishonest weights and measures are detestable to the Lord your God.

Eventually, integrity or lack thereof in business filters through society and affects all other parts of life. God indicated that dishonesty in business would threaten the happiness and stability of the entire nation.

Ezekiel 22:12There are hired murderers, loan racketeers, and extortioners everywhere. They never even think of me and my commands, says the Sovereign Lord.

God condemns cheaters who use dishonest means to become successful. Though such people often seem shockingly successful, God will have the final word.

Ruth 4:1-2, 9Boaz called out to [the family redeemer], “Come over here and sit down, friend. I want to talk to you.” . . . Then Boaz called ten leaders from the town and asked them to sit as witnesses. . . . Then Boaz said to the elders and to the crowd standing around, “You are witnesses that today I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion, and Mahlon.”

It’s possible to do the right thing the wrong way, which makes it even more important to do the right thing the right way. The latter produces goodwill in every direction. Like Boaz, always conduct your business aboveboard and in public—with no hidden kickbacks, deceptive small print, or shady deals.

Psalm 112:5Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly.

It’s important to be generous in your business dealings—integrity is an investment that will certainly pay off later! Money isn’t the only bottom line in life, and the best rewards will ultimately come to those who play fair.

Amos 8:4-5Listen to this, you who rob the poor and trample down the needy! You can’t wait for the Sabbath day to be over and the religious festivals to end so you can get back to cheating the helpless.

If you want to serve God through your business during the week, live in harmony with what you profess on Sundays. Exploiting your workers or clients during the week negates any faith you claim on Sunday. Instead, actively look for ways to use your means to care for others.

Mark 12:17“Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”

Paying taxes is an important obligation. Cheating your government is a sin against your Lord.

Luke 14:28Don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?

Although Jesus’ words in this passage refer mainly to the “cost” of being his follower, they assume a universal truth: Whenever you start a project or a business venture, it’s best to plan ahead and make sure you can handle the financial, physical, relational, and spiritual cost of following through. Take time to question your own motives and listen for God’s guidance before you make a final decision.