Why run a business on Christian principles?
This article is an excerpt from a talk by Steve Wilson CEO of Hideway storage company USA… given at a company meeting!
I want our company to do its part to make our communities, our state, and our world a better place to live and work. Since we are a business dedicated to making a profit, you might be asking yourselves, “What does the company have to do with making a better world?”
The simple answer is to look at our company purpose statement which is To HONOUR JESUS CHRIST by:
- SERVING customers with EXCELLENCE
- MANAGING assets with DILIGENCE and
- BUILDING team members with CARE, and
- ADDING value to our COMMUNITY.
It is my belief that we “Honor God” by observing Christian principles in every area of our lives, including our business activities. Christian principles truly are the foundation upon which we can build a better world for ourselves and our children. Christian principles provide the reason to work for the best, rather than just accepting a passive, or fatalistic view of life and saying, “ what happens is not my business.”
To spite other people’s opinions, if I call myself a Christian, upon what principles should I run a business? Should I operate on someone else’s principles just to be sure to, “Keep my religion out of business”? That would be hypocrisy. Or should I abandon all moral principles and do everything possible to get the most dollars regardless of any other issue? That would be blind greed.
I suspect what the man meant when he wrote, “Keep your religion out of business!” is that he did not want me to say anything out loud about my faith. He wanted the Christian principles, but he didn’t want any of the language that goes with it.
It is important, however, for you who work with our company to understand some of the foundations for our thinking. I think you need to know that I am not asking, requesting, or requiring anyone who is part of our company to agree with my Christian values. You are free to believe whatever you wish without incurring any unhappy consequences.
A businessman operating according to Christian principles simply is operating according to Biblical principles. It has nothing to do with churches, Bible translations, etc. or any of that other “churchianity” that so often divides people.
Christians believe that Jesus Christ sets the standard for our behavior in business as well as in our personal lives. And probably the best way to work that out in our day-to-day business activity is always to be asking the question “What would Jesus do?”
In terms of PEOPLE, Jesus said, “I am among you as one who serves.” We strive to serve others. We do not try to manipulate others. We serve others as best we can.
In terms of MONEY, Jesus used money, but He was not controlled by money. The purpose of our business is to make a good profit, but there is more to it than profit.
In terms of EXCELLENCE, Jesus said we are to do ALL things well. Excellence is our goal, although we sometimes fail. But at least we strive for excellence.
If we intend to run a company on Christian principles, we also should look at Christ’s life and do our best to apply principles and teachings of His life to our activities, both in business and privately.
Beware lest you say in your heart, my power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth. But you shall earnestly remember the Lord your God for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth. Deut 8:18
Blessings Clarkie and Coralie