God’s Sovereignty – Part 3

In Business and Economics

SLG COO Katherine Bussard continues our series on God’s sovereignty, exploring the practical consequences of the truth that God is sovereignty over business and economics.  

 As with other aspects of this series, the idea that God governs these financial aspects of life is rooted in His role as our Creator and our Provider.

Colossians 1:16—“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”

If we believe what Scripture teaches—that God created all things—then economics, which studies things and how they are made, distributed, and consumed, starts with knowing the Maker of all things.

Indeed, James 1:17 tells us that “Every good and perfect gift” comes from God.

Think about this with me as we apply this truth to economics and business:

Economists have long theorized that the formula governing man’s material welfare (or one’s wealth and prosperity) depends on this simple formula:

Natural Resources + Human Energy x Tools = Man’s Material Welfare

Genesis tells us that God created the whole world, including every natural resource. Genesis goes on to teach that God “created man in His own image” and breathed the breath of life into him, gave him work to do in the Garden of Eden, and charged him with stewarding creation. Our human energy and our ability to work, as well as our ability to create tools and find intelligent ways to solve problems also flow from our Creator. Truly, every economic component we need to prosper comes from God.

Because these abundant blessings come from Him, His Word has much to say about how we steward these blessings to achieve the greatest “Return on Investment”:

The redeeming work of Christ on the Cross produces internal liberty in man (Galatians 5:1), which is the foundation for Christian Economic Principles.  This internal regeneration of the spirit-man yields godly character (Romans 5:3-5) and self-governance (Galatians 5:22-23). These attributes of godly character and self-governance in turn yield a more prosperous economy:

  • Christians will exhibit a strong work ethic, laboring hard and producing much fruit (Proverbs 21:5, Colossians 3:23, 2 Timothy 2:15, John 15:8)
  • Christians will protect individual, private enterprise and it’s fruit. Ecclesiastes 2:24 says, “There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat, drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.”
  • Christians will not steal, protecting the wealth of both individuals and businesses by mitigating loss. (Leviticus 19:11)
  • Christians will save and invest to acquire a greater return later (Proverbs 13:11, 21:20, 1 Corinthians 16:2)
  • Christians will invest in their posterity and will seek to pass on a greater estate than they received (Proverbs 13:22)
  • Christians will deal honestly and with integrity at all times, they will not exploit others for greed or profit (Proverbs 16:11, Leviticus 19:11-13)
  • Christians will pay other fair wages and respect the value of the laborer (1 Timothy 5:18)
  • Christians will work hard to avoid debt, living within their means without coveting or trying to “Keep up with the Jones” (Luke 12:15, Romans 13:8, Hebrews 13:5)
  • Christians will be generous and help others while honoring their dignity and humanity (Leviticus 19:9-10, Proverbs 3: 9-10, Matthew 6:24, Luke 12:33-24)

This list could go on…. the Bible is filled with practical wisdom for business, financial management, and even investing—but all of these teachings flow out of God-given liberty and obedience to His Word.

The Christian economist Charles Wolfe developed a diagram further illustrating how God’s law and the spirit of liberty provide for the elements of a growing a prospering economy:

We have already discussed the central part- the Hub of God-given liberty. It is important to note that in a Christian economic system, it must be universally recognized that liberty and freedom come from God and not man or the government. Charles Wolfe put it this way: “If the hub of the wheel is seen as freedom granted by man or the state, rather than by God Himself, then that freedom can readily be taken away, in whole or in part, and there is no reliable basis for a continuing, consistent free economy.”

The Rim of Stewardship and Law serve the important function of constraining economic freedom with God’s control and wisdom. Through godly stewardship of liberty and upholding the rule of law in business environments, men respect each other’s property, uphold contracts, deal with integrity, and protect wealth from inflation and excessive regulation.

The Spokes:

Individual Enterprise: Flowing from God’s principle of individuality, this spoke represents that fact that each person as special, God-given talents to create and produce. That person also has individual needs and desires, individual rights, and individual responsibilities. Each person is accountable to God for their own actions and stewardship of the talents He has given them (Matthew 25:14-30).

Free Enterprise: This spoke referrers to Economic Self-government and represents the call to be self-governed as a laborer/producer, as a customer, and as a saver/investor and steward.

Honest Enterprise: This spoke focuses on Christian character that acts with honesty and integrity in all business dealings, including diligence in work, faith in God’s providence, genuine love for our fellow man, and the utmost value of truth in all business dealings. Honest money, weights, and measures, as well as preventing inflation are also important parts of honest enterprise.

Private Enterprise: protects private property and the right to gainful employ one’s own property for one’s own profit. Biblically, we recognize that property is first internal; conscience is the most sacred of all property. A Christian economic system will protect both internal property (such as thoughts, opinions, talents, conscience, ideas, and designs) as well as external, tangible property (such as land, money, possessions, and external expression of internal property, like free speech). Protecting private property is one of the most important duties of just government.

Local Enterprise: Local business and entrepreneurship comprise this spoke, where people look to their own abilities, rather than government, to create opportunities to prosper their own life and their community.  The economy grows when individuals have an idea of they can better serve others, save their money and invest in their own enterprise, win customers, grow, and employ others.

Free Market: Where ownership of all aspects of wealth remains under private ownership and individuals voluntarily unite and engage in business with one another, a Free Market prevails. This voluntarily union and choice in whom one does business with is vital for economic growth, where a supply and demand system flourish based on real need, production, and distribution.

The Road Bed: Lawful Enterprise: Here, civil government, rooted in biblical principles, creates an environment of freedom and order where everyone has the opportunity to prosper and thrive.  Godly, limited government whose functions are strictly within the scope of the law and incur as little cost as possible provide the best environment for economic opportunity.      

In our own nation, we have seen an amazing example of how this works: According to  WorldPopulationReview.com, while our population is only 4.23% of the world, the USA leads the world in innovations the have revolutionized the quality of life of people across the world, stating:

“The U.S. is the hub of all innovative inventions. Most new technology was invented in America — from personal computers, lasers, mobile phones, video games, photocopiers, and even the internet. Other inventions from the U.S. include hearing aid, micro-ovens, steamboats, submarines, refrigerators, telegraphs, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, cash registers, electric cookers, electronic TV, credit cards, air conditioners, and much more.”

Other leading nations are Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan—nations who have adopted many of the same principles that have made our nation so successful.

While America and many other nations have strayed from these biblical precepts that God intended to govern wealth, they still form the foundation for our whole economic system and provide the best wisdom to restore economic prosperity.

Citizen statesmen working within the sphere of business are perfectly positioned to help effect this restoration:

  1. By pursuing integrity in all their dealings, they can minimize the need for additional state regulation and begin to transform their public reputation.
  2. By providing opportunities for gleaning (Leviticus 19:9-10), they can serve the poor and unemployed in their communities.
  3. By seeking to glorify God, they can strive to ensure that their products and services conform with the truths of Scripture. 

References & Resources:

  • America’s Providential History by Mark Bellies & Stephen McDowell
  • Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History: The Principle Approach by Rosalie J. Slater
  • The Way the World Works by Jude Wanniski
  • The Character of Nations: How Politics Makes and Breaks Prosperity, Families, and Civility by Angelo M. Codevilla
  • Our Sacred Honor: Words of Advice from the Founders in Stories, Letters, Poems, and Speeches by William J. Bennet
  • The Road to Serfdom: The Definitive Edition– F.A. Hayek      
  • Rediscovering the Ideas of Liberty by David Steadman
  • Using Your Money Wisely by Larry Burkett

About the Author

Katherine Bussard
Ex. Director & COO
As Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Salt & Light Global, Katherine works to disciple servant-leaders in all walks of life, equipping them to share the redemptive love and truth of Jesus. She facilitates training in good governance for communities around the state, mentors other Christian women in leadership, and champions sound public policy. In speaking, writing, and serving, Katherine seeks to encourage the body of Christ to see all of who they are what they do through God’s Word. Katherine resides with her husband and partner in Kingdom service, Jeff.

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