Author Archives: Bill

Placing God First

In one of his messages, Pastor Greg Surratt discussed placing God first in our lives. It has probably been in more than one of his messages, but in one recent message in particular he said, “If you place God first in an area of your life and make God responsible for it, He defends it. If he isn’t first, He doesn’t have a responsibility; it’s your responsibility to defend it.” I think that applies to business as well as our personal lives.

Later in the message, Pastor Greg mentioned three ways to place God first in our lives. I think they can easily be applied to business as well.

  1. Give God the first part of your day

Start your day with prayer and spending time in God’s Word. If you don’t have a place to start, I think Proverbs is a great place for a Christian business person to start. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs. You could read through a chapter of Proverbs a day, corresponding to the day of the month. If you do that for a year, you will be surprised how God will speak to you.

Another method I suggest to people who are new to reading the Bible is to read through the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew Chapters 5-7) every day for a month. You would be surprised how much of that will speak to your life and how answers to problems will come easier.

  1. Give God the first part of your week.

While this might work strictly for some business and some employees, not everyone or every business can be closed on Sunday. We would be in bad shape if all of our police, firemen, and soldiers were off on Sunday. I think the spirit of the thought is to give everyone a day off. Regardless of how busy it is or what is going on, everyone needs a day off per week. God told the Israelites to take a day off; even during the harvest (Exodus 23:12).

God worked six days and took off on the seventh (Genesis 2:1-3). You are not more important than He is. If your business is open seven days and you don’t have someone else to run it for one of those days, you might be a control freak.

  1. Give God the first part of your money.

For a business owner, I think this means the first part of profits – after paying the employees and other costs of doing business.

I don’t think it needs to be to the church. I think it can be. If God has put it on your heart to give the tithe from the business He has entrusted you with to the food bank, or to Water Missions, or to your employee benevolence fund, that is between you and Him. I think it is clear you should be giving (Malachi 3:8); similarly to the gleanings of the field that were given to the poor (Leviticus 23:22).

Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reasons

Oftentimes, when teaching about following God, be it in business or in our personal lives, teachers will discuss the practical and/or material benefits of doing things in a Godly manner. I have been guilty of it myself; often extolling the virtues of chaplaincy in terms of employee retention, improved morale, and less missed work.

The fact is that every business that follows Biblical business practices will not necessarily be a success in the eyes of the world. They may not even be successful in the eyes of other business professionals. During the economic downturn, several businesses that had great ethics and morals and took excellent care of their employees went out of business.

Does that mean that we shouldn’t do the right thing? Does that mean that we should forget about taking care of people? I don’t think so. Hopefully, you are doing the right thing because it is the right thing. Hopefully, you are honoring God because He deserves to be honored; not because you are trying to manipulate His blessing. Hopefully, you are honoring employees because they are made in the image of God and He believes they are worth the price of the blood of His Son.

We need to ask ourselves, “Is it all about me and my business, or is it all about Jesus?” “Am I doing the right thing because I am looking for a worldly profit, or because it is my desire to follow after God?”

Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Job 13:15

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. James 4:17 ESV

God in the Workplace Workshops

The God in the Workplace steering committee has been seeking God and is seeing a new direction for the God in the Workplace seminar. We are all in agreement that the seminar will be more effective and more accessible if we hold the events as ongoing monthly workshops rather than eight weekly sessions.

Beginning August 11, 2011 we will meet at the Harbour Club in downtown Charleston. The cost of the meetings will be $20 and will include a full buffet breakfast at the Harbour Club and materials. Future meetings will also be held at Charleston Southern University.
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