Do Business for God
- Monday, November 15, 2010
Make your business sustainable. While you shouldn't make profitability your main goal - your main goal is to serve well - you also need to keep your company financially sustainable to stay in business. Keep in mind that you need to pay your shareholders a reasonable, risk-adjusted return on invested capital. Strive to make decisions that will not harm anyone connected to your business, from customers and employees, to suppliers and shareholders. Don't neglect your responsibility to respect and work with other businesses when appropriate. Look for opportunities to partner with people from other businesses in your same community, working together on some projects to help make your community a better place to live.
Build the right spiritual habits. Practice spiritual disciplines regularly to help you develop attitudes that will lead you to do what's right in business. Pursue such practices as regular prayer (especially for the Holy Spirit to renew your mind each day so you can think healthy thoughts), regular worship at church, celebrating Communion, observing a weekly Sabbath day, studying and meditating on the Bible, living simply, giving generously, fasting, and offering people hospitality. Build close relationships with some other Christians, encourage and support each other, and hold each other accountable as you grow closer to God together.
Build the right ethical habits. If you keep growing closer to Christ, you'll be able to make the right ethical decisions in business, such as: conducting yourself with integrity in all situations, comply with laws and company policies, work hard, be kind and compassionate to others, be generous to others, listen well to others, be humble, be eager to learn, avoid intentionally harming others (such as through gossip), and working for the best interest of your company and community instead of just your own personal advancement.
Adapted from Why Business Matters to God (And What Still Needs to Be Fixed), copyright 2010 by Jeff Van Duzer. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill., www.ivpress.com.
Jeff Van Duzer has served as dean of the School of Business and Economics at Seattle Pacific University since August 2001. He also has an appointment as professor of business law and ethics in the School. For the 20 years prior to his full-time association with SPU, Van Duzer practiced law in Seattle with an emphasis on finance and natural resources. During that time he supplemented his practice with service as adjunct faculty at SPU and studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. He writes and speaks frequently in both church and professional settings.
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