Philosophy of Business and The Teachings of Jesus – Business Essay
My philosophy of business is based on the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus taught primary the form of story or parable. Many of these parables dealt with the theme of money, investments, and greed. Even though the
parables were taught over two thousand years ago, I believe in a sense Jesus, gave us a prefect model of how to conduct business in today’s time. A persons’ worldview of life can demonstrate their perspective on life and their philosophy of business.
According to the biblical book of Matthew, Jesus shares an important passage and for me it is a foundational for my worldview of life and business. Jesus is sharing with a crowd of people that find His teaching life changing. Jesus says in Matthew chapter six verses nineteen thru twenty one, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” These passages talks a lot more than just how handle and view money or treasures, they express the importance of having your heart or worldview in line with God’s heart or worldview because your heart is where you get your worldview. When explaining the term “worldview” James Olthuis, author of On Worldviews, says, “All the factors of life-biophysical, emotional, rational, socioeconomic, ethical, and religious affect worldview.” I agree with Olthuis’ definition of worldview because all the factors of life will allow you to understand your role in life and, in turn, your role in life will demonstrate our worldview of life. The bible does not discuss in great detail how God created the world, rather its worldview assumes God created the world. The biblical view of creation is not in conflict with science; rather, it is in conflict with any worldview that starts without a creator. The world is not a product of blind chance and probability; God created it. The bible not only tells us that the world was created by God; more importantly, it tells us who God is. It reveals God’s personality, his character, and his plan for his creation. It also reveals God’s deepest desire: to relate to and fellowship with the people he created.
All the factors in my life lead me to believe that I had a creator and I knew that through this “creator” I would be able to answer the age old question, “Who am I?”, and know the purpose and meaning of my life. The biblical passages of Genesis 1: 27, 28 and Genesis 2: 15 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to the, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground. The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” These biblical scriptures give a clear understanding of how and why we were created. Knowing that we are made in God’s image and thus share many of his characteristics provides a sold basis for self-worth. Human worth is not based on possessions, achievements, physical attractiveness, or public acclaim. Instead it is based on being made in God’s image.
Whatever is stored in your heart is how you will live your life, Luke 6:45, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” The heart is what the Lord looks at in man, 1 Kings 8: 39, “For you alone know the hearts of all men,” because it is with your heart that you can believe in Jesus and are justified, Romans 10:10, “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified.” Jesus explains what is in a man’s heart in Mark chapter seven verse twenty thru twenty three, and Jesus says,” What comes out of a man is what makes him unclean. For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean.”
According to the biblical scriptures, a changed heart is the only key to have a relationship with God. The reason one needs a changed heart is because according to biblical book of Jeremiah chapter a heart that is unchanged is considered sinful and unacceptable to God, Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Jeremiah seventeen verse nine, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Jeremiah struggled with God and learned the nature of his heart and the human heart in general. Evil actions spring from the human heat, the center of reason and decision. Evil actions are rooted in an evil heart. Humans enjoy setting up rules, prejudices, taboos, and laws which define what is good and what is evil. The Pharisees had set up a long list of such traditional definitions for the Jews. Jesus reminded them that God, not humans, is the only source for defining what is evil. God defines evil in relations to humans by their desires and intentions. Evil motives make us evil, so that we succumb to satanic temptation and to our own desires, thus committing evil actions. God makes it clear why we sin; it’s a matter of the heart. Our hearts have been inclined toward sin from the time we were born. It is easy to fall into the routine of forgetting and forsaking God. But man’s heart was not always unclean and sinful, it was pure and clean because God created humans so He could have a relationship with them.
PROBLEMS OF HUMAN INDIVIDUALS
It wasn’t until man chose to disobey God that man’s heart became unclean and sinful. According to the biblical book of Romans 5:12-14, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way came to all men, because all sinned. For before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did no sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was pattern of the one to come.”
God created man and put him in a garden that would satisfy all of his desires and needs. In the middle of this garden God placed a tree call the tree of knowledge of good and evil and God commanded man not to eat from this tree or he would surely die. God created man with the ability to exercise free will and on day man made a decision that would change God’s plan for man and creation because man disobeyed God and ate from the tree, according to Genesis 3: 6 through 9. These verses show God’s desire to have fellowship with man. God wanted to be with them, but because of their sin they were afraid to show themselves. Sin had broken their close relationship with God because of Adam’s disobedience. Man’s ability to exercise free will caused man to sever the relationship with God and gave birth to sin.
The sinful nature in man has a very powerful force. The sin in man’s life will take control of man’s actions, desires, and ultimately bring death, James 1:15, “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” The book, Business Through the Eyes of Faith, states that, “We were created to know God and have God’s view of reality; in knowing God we can come to know and do what is right in his sight; and in knowing God and doing right we can separate ourselves from evil and be holy.” With the worldview that all humans are created with a sinful nature, I can understand why immorality, injustice, lack of ethics, selfishness, disloyalty, and greed are part of everyday characteristic in people all over the business world. A perfect example of these characteristics can be seen by the actions of Martha Stewart and Enron.
MEANING OF LIFE
What makes for genuine human fulfillment and satisfaction in the long run can be answered by first understanding one’s worldview on life. I believe that there are truly two answers to the question “What is the meaning of life.” The first can be explained by the circle of life, in which, finding satisfaction and meaning in life changes from day to day because as humans grow each day their needs change. The other fulfillment in life can incorporate both the development of life and a spiritual one.
My worldview on the meaning of life and what it means to find true fulfillment and satisfaction in life can only be found in doing the will of God. We all have a purpose in life, the prophet Jeremiah knew what his purpose was, according to Jeremiah 1:5. The Lord says to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I se you apart; I appointed you as a prophet tot eh nations,” even though our purpose in life may not be to become a prophet like Jeremiah, God know us, long before we are born or even conceived.
In Isaiah 17:7-11, God sends a message to the people of Damascus, that He will completely destroy the city and everyone in it because the people of Damascus had stopped depending to God, and instead depended on their idols and own strength and no matter on how successful they were on their own strength, God’s judgment was sure. The primary contribution of this work may be a negative one. It forces the world’s claims to the good life to face the spot life of truth: work, pleasures, drink, sex, wealth, human abilities, knowledge, youthful pleasures- all entice us to follow them into paradise, hope and fulfillment. But God says we will reap grief and pain if we depend on temporal things to give us meaning in life. From creation, God created humans with a purpose and that was to have an intimate loving relationship and fellowship with Him, according Genesis 3: 8 and 9, which states, “then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’”. There verses show God’s desire to have fellowship with man but because of sin, they hid from Him.
Jesus’ own words describe for humans is to live an abundant life, John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come they man may have life and have it to the full.” To experience the fullness of life that Jesus talks about in John 10:10, a life of abundance, a richer and fuller life can only be achieved when we do the will of God. I agree with King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived had to say about true satisfaction and the meaning of life. Solomon searched for satisfaction almost as though he was conducting a scientific experiment. Through this process, he discovered that life without God is a long and fruitless search for enjoyment, meaning, and fulfillment, Ecclesiastes 2: 10 and 11, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” True happiness is not in our power to accumulate or attain because we will always want more. In addition, there are circumstances beyond our control that can snatch away our possessions or attainments. Solomon says how empty it is to pursue the pleasures that this life has to offer rather than a relationship with the eternal God. The search for pleasure, wealth, and success is ultimately disappointing according to Solomon. Nothing in the world can fill the emptiness and satisfy the deep longings in our restless hearts. Solomon tried to shake people’s confidence in their own efforts, abilities, wisdom and tried to direct them to faith in God as the only sound basis for living. Without God, there is no lasting reward or benefit in hard work. The certainty of death makes all merely human achievements futile. God has a pan for human destiny that goes beyond life and death. The reality of aging and dying reminds each individual of the end to come when God will judge each person’s life. Human wisdom does not contain all the answers. Knowledge and education have their limits. To understand life, we need the wisdom that can be found only in God’s word to us in the bible.
PLACE OF BUSINESS
As Christians in the business world, we are accountable to a higher calling and should do all work as if we are working for the Lord, Ephesians 6: 5 through 7, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as you were serving the Lord, not men.” Paul instructions encourage responsibility and integrity on the job. Christian employees should do their job as if Jesus Christ were their supervisor. And Christian employers should treat their employees fairly and with respect. Although Christians may be at different levels in earthly society, we are all equal before God. He does not play favorites; no one is more important than anyone else. Paul’s instruction gives a perfect example of my foundation of my philosophy of business which can be found in the parables of Jesus.
The parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12: 13 through 21 teach how God view money and the dangers of it. Jesus’ message about accumulation of wealth from this parable is that life is more than material good, our relationship with Him is far more important. Jesus says that the good life has nothing to do with being wealthy, so be on your guard against greed (the desire for what we don’t have). This is exact opposite of what society usually says. Advertisers spend millions of dollars to entice us to think that if we buy more and more of their products, we will be happier, more fulfilled, more comfortable. As Christians, we have to learn how to tune out expensive enticements and concentrate instead on the truly good life, living in a relationship with God and doing his work. The rich man in this parable died before he could begin to use what was stored in his big barns. Planning for retirement and preparing for life before death is wise, but neglecting life after death is disastrous. No one can serve God and money, Matthew 6: 24, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Material things are not bad in themselves. They become bad when we place more importance on them than on our relationship with God.
The parable of Talents in Matthew 14: 14 through 29 teach on stewardship. God gives time, gifts, and other resources according to our abilities, and he expects us to invest them wisely until he returns. We are responsible to use well what God has given us. The issue is not how much we have, but how well we use it. No one received more or less than he could handle. If he failed in his assignment, his excuse could not be that he was overwhelmed. Failure could come only from laziness. Christ taught accountability and faithfulness to God. Those faithful in managing received additional trusts. Life and all its possessions are our trust from God. We are responsible to mange our time, abilities, and possessions so God and His kingdom will receive the greatest return. Serving God’s purposes in the world gives value to money and goods. Giving to meet the needs of fellow Christians is one way of serving Christ. We must daily seek opportunities to minister to the poor, afflicted, and suffering of our world. Our time, abilities, and money are not ours in the first place; we are just caretakers, not owners. Contrary to popular belief on the Christian’s viewpoint of money, this is that money is the root of all evil. Jesus never condemns money in itself; he condemns the idea of making money more important than serving Him. Money and possessions is a gift from God, Ecclesiastes 5:19, “when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work-this is a gift of God.” God has intended man to enjoy His gifts, even possessions and wealth, but only when man puts Him first, and not money.
In conclusion, the very foundation of my business philosophy is trust God, and to remain firm in the belief that everything belongs to Him.