Feed on

If business was only about maximizing profit one may get involved in human trafficking, which is relative low risk (few traffickers are caught and sentenced) and it has a relative high profit margin.

If job creation was the only purpose of business one could commend the Mafia for the jobs they create.

Businesses should serve various groups through its products, services, relationships and conduct: employees, owners, suppliers, customers, families, communities, and others.

Businesses should strive towards having a positive impact on individuals and societies, not only economically but also socially and environmentally.

Businesses should embrace a godly ethical framework to shape all aspects of the business. Good corporate values will also help building healthy societies.

Businesses need to make a profit to survive but they should also look beyond that. The Pope John Paul II wrote: “The purpose of a business firm is not simply to make a profit, but is to be found in its very existence as a community of persons who in various ways are endeavouring to satisfy their basic needs, and who form a particular group at the service of the whole of society.

This was even understood by a so called capitalist like David Rockefeller: “The old concept that the owner of a business had a right to use his property as he pleased to maximize profits has evolved into the belief that ownership carries certain binding social obligations. Today’s manager serves as trustee not only for the owners but for the workers and, indeed, for our entire society.”

John Paul II says that the church ”recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector”. However, he adds that there must be a strong juridical framework which at its core is ethical and religious.

But can ethically run businesses survive in a today’s tough global market? Can a business have Christian values and be profitable at the same time? Yes, here follows one example.

The R.W. Beckett Corporation (www.beckettcorp.com) was founded 1937 and is now a third generation family business which “endeavors to apply a biblically-based philosophy throughout every phase of its operations”. Its mission is: By God’s grace we will grow, relentlessly improve and passionately serve our customers and fellow employees.

Here are some of the values guiding the business:

  • Our intention is to be a Christ-centered company.
  • We will conduct ourselves with dignity, adhering to the highest ethical and moral standards.
  • We desire to be known as honorable, reliable and trustworthy, always willing to go the extra mile for something we believe in.
  • Profits are important and necessary, but never at the expense of good, long-term business judgment.
  • Recognizing there are business cycles, we have a high priority to provide employment stability.
  • We want to be good “corporate citizens” – active in serving others, helping meet human needs in the community and beyond.
  • We realize we are not an end in ourselves, but a part of God’s larger purposes. As such, we are called upon to work as “unto Him,” to view our business as a trust and to be wise and able stewards of the trust He has placed with us.

So can a business have Christian values and be profitable at the same time? Yes! Beckett has 74 years of experience.

3 Responses to “Can you mix God and business?”

  1. Adel says:

    This is such a good, encouraging thought, especially against the grain of how things are run in this country (MD). The example of Beckett Corp is very inspiring! I particularly like the “being part of God’s larger purpose”. That in the light of the Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson that I’m reading currently. Tnx! 😉

  2. Francis says:

    Thought inspiring article,especially if u r in bussiness in india with all the red tape etc.
    I liked the Profits are necessary,not at the expense of good long term bussiness relationship…..
    thank you.

  3. Janet says:

    Yes, obviously a business wants to make a profit, but I would rearrange that statement to say “……not at the expense of God’s laws and moral integrity. Not at the expense of someone else. Not at the expense of anything that Jesus wouldn’t approve of.” If all business owners thought this, with each transaction …….”How would I handle this “deal”, “arrangement”, “agreement” if Jesus was watching and standing here with me?”, “Would I be fair, and honest? Even if it was going to lose business, or inconvenience me? THE BIG COOL RICH BUSINESS OWNER. There is so much about how our attitudes are supposed to be here on earth. Meek, kind, humble. Are we striving to do these things as business men, or are we letting our ego get into the way? Are we getting arrogant and pompous and feeling a sense of arrogant entitlement? Do we feel better and smarter than others? Are we better than our brothers and sisters? Is our love for the business over powering our love for our brothers and sisters, or worse, Christ? Where is the line drawn? I’m not to judge, so I won’t, but we all have our own conscience, and we all know what is right and wrong, and we all know that “every knee will bow” on judgement day and we will be judged according to our deeds. And Jesus said to “Love one another.” So if a business is causing people to feel hurt, or offended, or mistreated, then it is not one of God, because God is good. Something to ponder <3

Leave a Reply