“…There is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem. It is at the bottom of life we must begin, and not at the top. Nor should we permit our grievances to overshadow our opportunities.” Booker T. Washington
When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the LORD your God. – Leviticus 19:9-10
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. – 1 Timothy 6:17-19
From marketing products that shape our daily lives to funding causes that define our cultural mores, the business world wields a significant amount of influence in our society. Its unique role, generally attendant to both power and wealth, rightly positions its leaders to serve as role models and caretakers of the community. Problems arise, however, when business leaders place profit and personal gain over integrity, contentment, and service.
When God created the sphere of business and commerce, He intended for it to be used both as a mechanism for exercising creativity and providing for needs. Speaking to an agricultural society, He commanded the farmers to go through their fields only once in order to provide the able-bodied poor with an opportunity to harvest the remainder. His system of gleaning took into account the human dignity and sinful condition of both the poor and the farmer. For instance, the poor and alien of Israel were not permitted to live off the avails of others, but wondrously, by being given a chance to work, they were able to exercise the fullness of their humanity. At the same time, the farmers received the fruit of their labors because they had access to the best crops, but they were not permitted to maximize their profit at the expense of those in need.
Today, corruption, greed, and scandal often mark the sphere of business. In response, the general public becomes outraged and the State imposes additional regulations, effectively diminishing the ability and freedom to produce at optimal levels. Citizen statesmen working within the sphere of business are well-positioned to change this reality. By pursuing integrity in all of their dealings, they can minimize the need for additional state regulation and begin to transform their public reputation. By providing opportunities for gleaning, they can serve the poor and unemployed in their communities. By seeking to glorify God, they can strive to ensure that their products and services conform with the truths of Scripture.
The following resources are provided for informational use only and are not necessarily endorsed by Salt & Light Global. They should always be examined against Scripture, our primary resource. If you would like to add resources to this list, please contact us.
Books, Articles, & Journals
- “A Model of Christian Charity”, Gov. John Winthrop
- Beyond Integrity: A Judeo-Christian Approach to Business Ethics, Scott Rae & Kenman Wong
- Biblical Perspectives on Business Ethics: How the Christian Worldview has Shaped our Economic Foundations, Charles Colson, Peter Lillback, Wayne Grudem, Philip Ryken
- Business as Mission: A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice, C. Neal Johnson
- Business for the Glory of God, Wayne Grudem
- Callings: Twenty Centuries of Christian Wisdom on Vocation, Edited by William C. Placher
- The Christian Business & Professional Magazine
- Christian Economics: Studies in the Christian Message to the Market Place, John Richardson
- “The Christian World View of Business and Occupations”, The Coalition on Revival, Inc.
- Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper
- “Earning Commission on ‘The Great Commission’”, Rob Moll
- Economic Parables: The Monetary Teachings of Jesus Christ, David Cowan
- God Owns My Business, Stanley Tam
- Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality, Dr. Henry Cloud
- Real-Time Connections: Linking Your Job with God’s Global Work, Bob Roberts, Jr.
- Serving Christ in the Workplace, Larry Peabody
Ministries, Organizations & Events
- The C12 Group
- CBMC International
- The Center for Christian Business Ethics Today
- Christian Business Association
- Christian Business Men’s Connection
- Christian Business Roundtable
- Fellowship of Companies for Christ International
- One Way Ministries
- Opportunity International
- Partners Worldwide