Many Christian business leaders have been awakened to the idea that God cares about business. This opens the door to the possibility of serving God 24/7, even in business.
But excitement gives way to doubt as a new question emerges: what are the values of Jesus for the marketplace? Almost before the question is asked, another question comes forward: even knowing what they are, is it possible to live out such values in the midst of a broken 21st century business world?
In the introduction to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5: 1-12), Jesus lays out the values for living in his Kingdom. Though at first this passage may seem totally disconnected from the 21st century or the world of business, we soon realize two things. First, if this represents how he wants his people to live, then they must apply today. Second, if they apply today, they must apply to all of our life, and that means the part of our lives lived out in his call to our work in business.
By carefully reading what Jesus said, we can identify eight values that should characterize our lives as business -people of the Kingdom:
* Power under Control
* Excellence and Justice
* Compassion and forgiveness
Now we encounter our second question on whether it is possible in modern business to live out such values. Over the past 18 years I have had the opportunity to talk with business leaders from around the world, and I will share what it looks like in practice. These values are both ideal and applicable.
Of course, we live in a fallen world. That doesn’t just mean there are problems “out there” with competitors, regulators, customers, and a challenging technology-based marketplace. There are problems in me as well. I myself am broken. None of these values can be lived perfectly or on our own. We continually need reminders from God, and reminders from each other, as we seek to walk this path. This is why being in the Scripture and being in small groups is important.
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