“Praise the LORD!
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in His commandments!
His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generations of the upright will be blessed.”
The priority of a godly businessman is to stay focused on those policies and practices that reflect a trust, respect and regard for what is right in God’s eyes. The word used as fear in the Hebrew context is used to refer to a respect with awe and wonder for the might, majesty and involvement of God for mankind. God guards the minds and the actions of those who follow His ways with love and joy. The test of a righteous man is not in the trials and struggles to get ahead in the world but if he can maintain an attitude of respect and love of doing it in a manner that pleases God and provides for his fellow man. When a businessman places the principles of the Word of God into his dealings with his clients and deals with them as God has dealt with him, he will not use unjust ways. The actions of a truly godly man will not overcharge, do shoddy work or use his “religion” to gain trust. The very heart of God will be sufficient to gain trust and to guarantee good workmanship.
The godly man will treat all customers with respect, especially those who are not of the same faith so that they will see that God is in thier lives. Paul tells the Roman Christians, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do each other in showing honor…Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.” (Romans 12:9,10,17). Good business practices demand that we deal fairly with each other. As honor is taught by fathers and elders in the business world to their children, so shall the offspring deal fairly and justly with their business interests. It is when the duties of enterprise cause them to defer or disregard the blessings of Godly work that greed, selfishness and injustice begin to rule the work ethnic. Then is when the children are not blessed but are cursed.
“Wealth and riches are in his house,
and the his righteousness endures forever.
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious,merciful and righteous.”
The New Living Translation reads: “…their good deeds will never be forgotten. When darkness overtakes the godly, light will come busting in.” In today’s cut-throat world of business, to many “Christian” businessmen have left their faith at the church door and entered into the work place with the zeal of a demon. Their interests do not lie in the goal of fairness, compassion or generosity but in “getting ahead of the “other guy.” The one question they never ask themselves is whether or not it is in the interest of Christ to behave like this. The Godly man sees the brightness of a good deed and a just dealing as a offering to God for His mercy upon us in his every action. the true wealth of a man is not in the bank but in the treasures stored in heaven. when a man goes out of his way to do a kind thing for another, there is a light that warms the soul. Proverbs speaks of godly wisdom as; “Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honer. Her ways are the ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” (Proverbs 3:16-17). Those who seek to do their jobs and bless others with the grace of the Father, receive for themselves blessing from on High.
James warns us to watch out for the destructive attitudes. He says, “..If you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambitions in your hearts, don’t brag about being wise. That is the worse kind of lie.” (James 3:14). Paul tells us not be unequally yoked, “For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness.” (2Cor 6:14) when men of powerful positions deal with ungodly people and accept their practices and actions as normal, they yoke themselves to darkness. And their Children will suffer from it. they will not learn what it is to be godly men. Our children need to know that the parents live the walk of Jesus in their business.
“It is well with the man who deals generously and lends (freely);
who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.”
There are several verses that tell us not to charge outlandish interest on loans. There was a time that the laws in America put limits on interest charged but as of late, it seems that the market has passed up fairness and godliness. As people become more desperate to have enough to survive, those who are the weakest, must pay the most. there is no generosity in the lending. I know of a man who qualified for a low interest loan backed by the government yet the bank refused to lend him the money and took away his home. Another person, a elderly lady, also lost her home because the lender would not give her an extension on her loan, even though they were aware that she was in the hospital. As a man of God, I refuse to yoke myself with such banks. Because they do not deal fairly with the weak, I will not deal with them. The righteous must stand up and rebuke the unrighteous. We must be moved to avoid the dealing with the ungodly. As a christian, I can not understand how those who call themselves lovers of God can work for them or be a part of shady businesses. Even in these economic times, if I worked for them, I would resign and offer my services to some other enterprise.
God judges us on how we treat each other. If we deal with one another as robbers and thieves, he will judge us accordingly. If we treat each other as beloved children, He will regard us as His Beloved children. We as a people of God are to be the examples of godly, blameless and holy dealings. The Word of God refutes those who practice usury, swindle their neighbors or causes them harm. To god they are not among the redeemed, but listed as the cursed. Their names are not in the Book of Life nor do they possess the mark of Salvation (see Ezekiel 9:3-9). The righteous are spared, they shall see the Glory of the God because they live, work and pray in righteousness.
“He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is secure, he will have no fear;
in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.”
Just today I read a essay in TIME magazine by Andrea Sachs on the success of Amish small business. (April 19,2010). In it the explanation of the the work ethic of the Amish community is based on the “Golden Rule” rather than on golden calf. They do not worry about how much money they can make or if they can compete on the “world market” but on the needs of their employees, family and the usefulness of the work. Plain and simple lives and plain and simple livelihoods. Because of this attitude, they do not fear hostile takeovers, market lose or strikes.
When our business ventures are done with integrity and honestly, they will prevail. When we work with the joy of the LORD in our efforts, even if all else fails, we win. As we practice godly principles in our work place, we are spiritually secure. “‘Be just and fair to all,’ says the LORD. ‘do what is right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you’.” (Isaiah 56:1 NLT). As we have seen in the last few years, those men who took advantage of customers who put millions of people out of work. Who caused many people to lose their homes and then took money from the government. Yet they failed to compensate those they hurt and lost our trust. Even as they wallow in ill-earned profits, they are losers to the rest of us. The saddest thing is that many claimed to belong to Christ. even as they sang hymns in church, their hearts revealed themselves as villains of justice and foes of righteousness. In the end, they are defeated.
Those whose hearts are steadfast in the mercies of Chirst, rejoice in the presence of the Most High God. Those who live in integrity, do not fear the lose of mere money, because they are rich in the graces of God. They have placed their priorities on the Word of God and the hearts of the people. what is of the world, stays in the world, while that which is in God, returns to us and remains in us even to eternity. The great verse of Micah 6:8 tells it all: “He [GOD] has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” In all our dealings we are to walk WITH GOD! Not just on Sunday, but every day, Mondays through Fridays from our rising up in the morning to our laying down at night.
“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.”
Psalm 112:9 (ESV)
Not only is the godly man an honest man, a fair man; he is a generous man who helps those who are in need freely. His heart is always extended to those who can not fend for themselves. He looks out for the widows, the orphans and those strangers in his midst who come to him seeking protection, food or clothing. He treats his employees as family, providing for their future, medical needs and the welfare of their families. That is the lesson of Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol.”
And the godly business man does not need to “toot his own horn,” because his actions are done quietly, privately so as to give glory to God rather than to himself. In my childhood, there was an old man who let us kids play in his yard anytime we wanted to because he loved children. He was the richest man I knew, owning several high end department stores yet he wanted to enjoy children playing among his very expensive manicured yard more than all the money he had obtained. When he died, most of his estate went to charities because his children where “rich enough without any more of this money.”
He was remembered not for his business practices as much as for his generosity and kind heart. This is the horn of dignity and respect that is raised in every corner of society. Many of us have similar memories of someone who went out of their way to be kind with no thought of reward for themselves. Their reward is recorded in the Book of Life.
The final verse of the Psalm is what is contained in the heart of the unrighteous businessman. The contempt of greed, the vileness of corruption and the disregard of righteousness toward others will end in spiritual ruin.
“The wicked man sees it and is angry;
he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish!”
Psalm 112:10 (ESV)
I get visions of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz when I read this passage. Evil can not stand the pleasures of goodness. The cruel, selfishness of greed can not comprehend the joy and peace that is found in dealing honestly with others. They never find happiness because they can not grasp the meaning of sharing. The wicked only see power, wealth and destruction as rewards. Yet in the end, before the Judgement Seat of the Most High God, the will melt away into the eternal nothingness. The many lessons of Jesus repeat this theme; do what is right before God and love your neighbor or suffer the consequences of damnation. Those who fail to do right in the eyes of God will fall into the pit of fire with gnashing of teeth and with total despair.
The Godliness of good business and a heart of God toward others is a two fold reward. It makes you feel good as you do it and the blessings of God will be with you even into eternity. Let the principles of Godly behavior rule the practices of good business and let Christ guide you in every business venture. Let that be your reward and you will be blessed greatly.