I think that most businesses today would acknowledge a set of core values that they embrace in their organization. Values are principles that lead your actions and decisions in life. When I googled “values,” one definition stated:
- Important and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable. Values have major influence on a person’s behavior and attitude and serve as broad guidelines in all situations.
Read more here.
The part of this definition that stood out to me was the end of the last line, “and serve as broad guidelines in all situations.”
If it is truly a value, it also transcends all areas of life. It is hard for me to believe that a person can have one value system for home and another for work. I understand that if you don’t own your own business, you may not agree with all the values in the organization you work for. That could be challenging if the gaps are wide.
As small business owners, we should absolutely align with the values of our own company. As Christians in business, our values and our faith are not compartmentalized to a certain set of standards for work and another for life. As a believer, we are followers of Christ. There is no qualifier at the end.
The Lord wants to be the Lord of our lives, which includes our social life, our family life, our business life, and any other part of life we come up with.
So, building a successful business on a foundation of your Christian values should make life easy. If we are a believer, we have Christian values. If our values are the same in all aspects of our life then our values are Christian.
As followers of Christ, we have a strong desire to be more Christ-like, to hold His values. Christian values would include things like:
- Treat others as you would like to be treated. This could just be the underlying principle behind good customer service or it could dictate integrity, honesty, and fairness in handling issues.
- Look to God for guidance and direction in all things. This may be the practice of praying over all major decisions in your business and bringing them before God for wisdom and direction.
- Serve others. This may be doing pro bono work or giving back to your community in some way. It could be allowing your employees to serve a certain amount as part of their job.
Your Christian Values: Practice Exercise
The Bible is full of ways to live a holy life, and all of them can be principles that you follow in your business. As a practice exercise, I would suggest the following activity.
- Sit down and list out key principles from Scripture that you find important in your day to day living. It may be a verse. It may be a biblical theme.
- Next to each key principle from Scripture write out how this could pertain to your business.
- Pick one and focus on it in your business for the next two weeks.
- If it works out well, keep it going.
- Return to the list and pick the next one to work on for the next two weeks.
And so on.
Here is an example I am going to work on. When I first became a Christian, one of my favorite verses was (and still is) Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
I can apply this to my business in a multitude of ways, however, I want to do a few things for the next 2 weeks:
- Bullet journal my work day throughout the day. This just means to jot down the key points of the day, major decisions to be made, key activities that need to occur.
- Spend time each morning in prayer regarding one or two of the major things I jotted down through my business day. It may be praying about how I can assist a client or praying for a client directly. It could be repenting for something I handled poorly during the prior day. It may be praying for a decision I need to make, like who to hire.
- Look at scriptures regarding the activity, decision, etc. For example, if it is about spending money, there are tons of scripture verses about money to study.
- After identifying an issue that I need to put in front of the Lord, praying about it and studying scripture, I need to return to prayer or journaling to try to hear what God is telling me on the subject. I don’t believe that God is silent on issues of importance to us. I do believe that sometimes we don’t take the time to listen.
This is my commitment for the next couple of weeks.
Why don’t you join me?
You can use my example or come up with one of your own. Soon we will have a pretty solid foundation to start building our business on.