We have begun this series as a means of encouraging our Business Group members and we hope that they will be a source of inspiration and support for them as Christian businessmen and women. Chapter 1: Ownership It is a commonly held view that owning property is "morally tainted". Some may even think that in a perfect world nobody would have personal possessions; everything would be communal. However, these ideas are not supported by the Bible, but are rather borne out of the realization that through ownership evil has flourished. Consider how resources can be used to pollute and destroy, rob and oppress, or how ownership has advanced pride, greed, unbridled self-indulgence, and a sense of wrongful security in riches. Not only that, but as we care for our possessions we are given multiple opportunities to "imitate many other attributes of God, such as wisdom, knowledge, beauty, creativity, love for others, kindness, fairness, independence, freedom, exercise of will, blessedness or joy ", etc.!
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I only wish this little book had been available to me as an undergraduate in business school. How often do liberal commentators and politicians, steeped in Marxist theory, decry the inequality of possessions that may result from competition? This anti-competitive attitude appears not only in reaction to business but in those schools where grades are no longer awarded and in youth sports where everyone gets a trophy. Grudem writes: It may seem surprising to us to think that some inequality of possessions can be good and pleasing to God.
However, although there is no sin or evil in heaven, the Bible teaches that there are varying degrees of reward in heaven and various kinds of stewardship that God entrusts to different people…So we should not think of all inequalities of possession as wrong, or evil.
As for those who have large resources, they also are to be content in God and trust in him, not in their riches… 51, 55, 56 We know from economic theory that the very nature of barter or exchange in a free society is good in itself because through such transactions we do good to other people. Grudem provides a helpful illustration of the interpersonal growth which can come from commercial transactions: An individual farmer may not really like the auto mechanic in town very much, and the auto mechanic may not like the farmer very much, but the farmer does want his car to be fixed right the next time it breaks down, and the auto mechanic does love the sweet corn and tomatoes that the farmer sells; so it is to their mutual advantage to get along with each other, and their animosity is restrained.
In fact, they may even seek the good of the other person for this reason! So it is with commercial transactions throughout the world and even between nations. Imagine that—borrowing and lending is not only not evil in itself, but is a God-given gift to provide for mankind. That is because businesses produce goods, and businesses produce jobs. Grudem notes that excessive government red tape and obstacles to the enterprise system effectively destroy economic growth.
Many oppressive government systems stifle individual enterprise and commercial exchange, thus robbing citizens of realizing the fruit of their God-given talents and work. Of course, beyond widespread economic and theological ignorance, a major reason for negative attitudes toward business is the abuse and misuse of commercial transactions by sinful men.
That, of course, is potential in every human endeavor. For similar reasons—the misuse and abuse by a few practitioners—the public perception of such inherently worthwhile and traditionally respected vocations as the ministry, politics, and the law, have fallen in respect in recent years.
Scripture teaches that all good things come down from the Father of lights. We should be thankful for His gifts and responsible in our use and exercise of them. Man should create reasonable systems of law to minimize abuse and misuses, and then take joy and pleasure in the good gifts our Lord has blessed us with, business included.
I highly recommend this short and accessible book. A businessman by day; he attends seminary in the off hours working toward an M.
Grudem points out the association between the Bible and business concepts as well as how sin is not how one should glorify God. Owners of a business often consider the business often consider the business a personal possession and sometimes forget that what he owns was given to him by God. Productivity in business is the skill set, knowledge, and materials that God has provided to build and produce items. Efficiency in productivity means that you can throw out more products in a short period with fewer resources to obtain a higher producer surplus. Resources given to man by God should be used to advance and not lust over material items Grudem, , pg. Unethical conduct such as price discrimination and deception with defective products would be sinful and harmful to productivity. This could maximize the ability to help the neighbor and return the glory of productivity to God.
Business for the Glory of God Essay
Business for the Glory of God: The Bible's Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business