Feed on
Posts
Comments

Business as Mission, BAM, is part of a greater godly plan which the Jews call tikkun olam[1]: repairing the world. We are living in the tension of the world that is and the world as it ought to be. Tikkun olam means co-creating with God, and bridging the gap between the world which is, and to a world as it ought to be.

Unfinished business

God created all things and as He did quality control after each creation or production day, he deemed the products to be good. We are created in His image, to be creative, to create good products and services, to further develop the world that God has created. We do it with God and for people: tikkun olam. Or as the American Jesuit theologian Roger Haight writes in ‘Spirituality Seeking Theology’ (2014): “God has entrusted creation to human beings not merely as caretakers of a past condition but as co-creators with God of the future.”

Bridging the gap

Throughout history and around the globe today we observe the tension of what is and what it ought to be. God has always called and equipped people to bridge that gap. He called Moses to lead the people from slavery in Egypt, to freedom in the promised land. It was a long journey of tikkun olam.

There are tens of millions of slaves in the world today. We need a Moses, an Aaron and a Miriam and many others, to lead people from slavery to freedom. My good friend and Brazilian fashion designer Amanda Prussak has stepped into this gap, building a bridge to freedom through Dress for Freedom [2]. Tikkun olam – repairing the world.[3]

Community

Tikkun olam is co-creating with God, who created in community and for community. Nehemiah wept when he learned about the devastation of Jerusalem. He prayed and made a thorough plan, and engaged the community to restore the walls and the city for the community. Tikkun olam.

For over ten years I have worked closely with the Kingdom Business Community in Indonesia.[4] They have equipped over 10 000 business owners and entrepreneurs, to align their businesses with God’s purposes and for the common good. Tikkun olam.

Do justice, love mercy, walk with God

About a century ago James Dole started a pineapple farm and industry in Hawaii. He was intent loving God and neighbor, and to that end shape his business so it would honor God and serve people. When the trade union came to inspect the company and the working conditions they concluded: if all businesses were run like Dole’s company, we in the trade unions would be out of business. Dole was once asked what guided and informed his business practices, and he referred to Micah 6:8 – to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Tikkun olam.

About 100 years later a BAM group called Transformational SME [5] was founded, that focuses on repairing the world in some of the most broken and challenging countries. I have worked with them for over ten years and we have seen how you can do tikkun olam through small and medium size businesses, helping them to grow in size and profitability as well as holistic impact. What is Transformational SME’s guiding principle? To do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God.

The Lord’s prayer & BAM

We regularly observe problems and shortcomings around us, and we often take these to the Lord in prayer. We address what is, and pray for a change.

BAM is about intentionally positioning ourselves in the midst of the Lord’s prayer: may your Kingdom come in the marketplace, and may your will be done on earth as in heaven, in and through my business. Tikkun olam.

Thus, we also pray in the spirit of tikkun olam[6] as we repair the world:

Christ with me, as I do business for Him and people

Christ before me, as I plan my business

Christ behind me, as I review my business

Christ in me; my guiding light in business

Creating wealth for human flourishing

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Saks said: ”Poverty crushes the spirit as well as the body, and its alleviation is a sacred task”. There are of course different kinds of poverty and wealth. One can be financially rich but socially poor. One can be endowed with great intellect but suffer from spiritual poverty.

One shouldn’t underestimate the importance of wealth creation[7] and wealth creators when we talk about tikkun olam. Wealth creation is both a command and a gift from God. Moreover, it is a historically proven path to lift people and nations out of poverty. Different kinds of wealth can and should be created in and through business, to contribute to human flourishing. Wealth creation is tikkun olam.

The Wealth Creation Manifesto, now in 17 languages, conveys the role of wealth creation for holistic transformation of people and societies around the world.

We are called to tikkun olam

During and after the corona crisis we are to repair and heal people’s lives and improve the world, bringing hope and healing to the world, also through business.

As business people we have a calling, but we also have a responsibility to proactively pursue tikkun olam, and seek business solutions to global issues.

As John Paul II writes: the lay faithful have the responsibility of being in the forefront in working out a solution to the very serious problems of growing unemployment; … to raise up new forms of entrepreneurship and to look again at systems of commerce, finance and exchange of technology.” [8]

Tikkun olam. Let’s repair the world!

 

****************************************

[1] Learn more about the concept, and how Israel applies it. https://www.israel21c.org/opinion-tikkun-olam-israels-most-ancient-and-modern-invention/ . I also strongly recommend a lecture by Rabbi Sacks: “To heal a fractured world”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seiAyrDXKkg

[2] http://dressforfreedom.com/

[3] Dress for Freedom is one of 100+ so called freedom businesses applying tikkun olam through the Freedom Business Alliance: https://www.freedombusinessalliance.com/

[4] https://kingdombusiness.community/

[5] https://www.transformationalsme.org/

[6] See the full prayer at http://matstunehag.com/2017/03/17/st-patricks-bam-prayer/

[7] It is now three years since the Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation and subsequent publications. During August and September 2020, we have published a series of articles on wealth creation, reflecting on the eleven affirmations in the Wealth Creation Manifesto

Learn about the global impact of the Manifesto at https://businessasmission.com/the-global-impact-of-the-wealth-creation-manifesto/ 

Articles:

Wealth Creation Manifesto: Affirming the Role of Business People in God’s Plan for the World
Shaping Our Views on Wealth, Wealth Creation and Wealth Creators
Creating Wealth for God’s Glory and the Common Good
Business Is a Holy Calling That Should Be Affirmed by the Church
Alleviating Poverty by Creating Businesses and Sharing Wealth
Business as an Agent of Human Flourishing and the Greater Glory of God
Business as Good News to the Poor
A Cup of Cold Water: Business and the Stewardship of Creation

[8] Christifideles laici 1988

 

Leave a Reply