Christian men and women in business face many challenges in the way they seek to carry out their responsibilities whilst honouring Christ. One of the main challenges to them is understanding the relevance of the gospel to modern business life, and how to apply it to daily business situations.
We need to be in the world yet not of it, yet so often today we find Christians in business saying that it is impossible to put this into action in today’s aggressive, profit motivated world.
The business world needs the light of Christianity to restore the balance that has moved from a viewpoint of serving the community in which we live, to serving ourselves. We have all tended to become self-preservationists, and from that viewpoint it will always appear to be impossible to “be an effective Christian” in the business world.
If we review our industrial heritage, we will quickly come across great men and women of God who established businesses and successfully displayed their faith in the way they worked. Today, there are many Christians in prominent positions who do also manage to honour Christ in their work, but we hear too little of them. When we consider the Gospel and its call to selflessness and humility it may not be surprising that we do hear so little of them.
The issue of the Psalms in Business Life came into focus as I began to find the Psalms speaking to me about my emotions and the situations that I came across in business life. Previous to this time, I had not found much solace in the Psalms, and saw little relevance to them and my business life.
I used to find it very difficult to take the Lord into work with me. In general I would leave him at the Factory or Office door. My mind as soon as I entered work; or in most cases as soon as I left home; was filled with all the things that faced me. My days were spent in focused activity, which often did not cease even when I returned home. True to form, when I was in trouble at work, especially when dealing with aggressive vindictive people in meetings, I did turn to the Lord. Apart from this my work was not of the Lord, and I did not have the joy and comfort of working closely with other Christians.
Opportunities did arise for me to witness my faith, and I thank the Lord for them, – but in general I lead a Secular work life, rather than a Christian work life. The fact I am a Christian brought all sorts of responses from both management and works, even a lukewarm Christian can disturb the pond of pagan complacency.
The reason for outlining my experiences is that I am certain that they are little different from the majority, no matter what type of employment you were in.
I was aware then of working with people whose spirit was not controlled by the Lord Jesus Christ, but did little myself apart from self-defence to combat this. In general the characteristic trait which you would find most common in relationship at work was that of tearing other people down through criticism, envy or due to dissatisfaction in their own lives.
Let us start by recognising that our God is the God of Commerce and Industry, He gave us the knowledge and understanding of all things by which we operate and run our business. Whether we are manufacturing goods, producing foods or providing a service, he is the ultimate provider from whom all things flow. It is purely up to us if we are going to recognise this and act accordingly or allow the World to persuade us otherwise and lead us astray.
We should begin to recognise that we are in a spiritual battle. Many of us will easily accept the concept and reality of a spiritual battle in our homes, the society and the church, but suddenly become blind to considering the battle that exists in commerce and industry. We are being misled by the great deceiver.
We are therefore in a battle situation which we intend to win personally as the main battle has already been won and our Saviour is the victor.
The main armament we have is the Bible and to discount this and not use it in our employment will be foolish.