The Bible and the Marketplace

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The Bible and the Marketplace

The Bible and the Marketplace

What Biblical principles can we apply in our workplaces? Surely there are lessons we can learn from the Bible on how to handle our day-to-day situations. Rev Robert Lum shares his wisdom.

Many of the great leaders in the Bible were excellent leaders in the secular world: Abraham, a rich businessman; Joseph, a wise Prime Minister; Moses, a powerful political leader; Joshua, a successful general; and many more. My favorite leader is Daniel. Daniel 6:3 (NLT) says: “Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made  plans to place him over the entire empire.” Daniel’s leadership qualities catapulted him to the top of the civil service in a foreign country!

In the same vein, today’s Christians can also excel—like these Biblical characters—in the secular world, and be at the top of their business or workplace. What was the “secret” of these Biblical leaders? They obeyed and lived out the Word of God. Joshua 1:8 (NLT) promises, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” In a world that has 1001 management “gurus” advocating their brand of success formula; contrarily, Christians who follow the well-proven principles of the Bible can also move ahead.

Here is a paradigm of Biblical wisdom that you can apply in your work, in your business, in your home and in your community:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Colossians 3:23)

The Christian’s work attitude is poles apart from that of the world. You give your best to the job because you are working for God, not merely for promotion or a pay rise. The preceding verse tells you to work hard, “not only when their eyes are on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.” Your colleagues, friends and family ought to see you as a conscientious, industrious and excellent employee.

“Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.” (Colossians 4:1)

The Christian employer or supervisor must be just and fair in his dealings with the workers; so they do not need a union to defend their rights or to protect them from exploitation—a Christian boss is obligated to treat employees with dignity and respect, and pay them on time. The Bible warns in Malachi 3:5 (NLT), “I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages.”

Do you see someone  skilled  in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” (Proverbs 22:2) 

A Christian should develop his giftedness and skill to the fullest potential. If you are discontented with mediocre work, don’t linger in the status quo. You are accountable to God to develop and utilize the innate talents and qualities that He has given you. In so doing, you will find yourself rising through the ranks.

“Surely the righteous will never be shaken.” (Psalm 112:6)

A  Christian  stands  out  because  of his righteousness and integrity. In a world that is increasingly corrupted, you must stand as a beacon of light in the moral darkness. Character is much more valuable than competence and talent. Here are two poignant quotes that highlight this fact:

Fame is vapor, popularity an accident, Riches take wing, and only character endures.”
– Horace Greeley.

“Don’t worry so much about your self-esteem. Worry more about your character. Integrity is its own reward.”
– Dr Laura Schlessinger.

Never compromise. Be on guard! It may seem foolish, it may even put you against colleagues and other businesses, but the upright person will stand strong in the end.

“Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)

A Christian believes in servant leadership. Take Jesus as your Model. You serve and become an example of a servant, which means you love and care genuinely for people. You are interested to meet needs. You want badly to groom people. You rejoice with others when they tower in leadership. In this way, you will gain loyalty, respect and influence from your subordinates and those around you. You will be amazed at how rewarding your servant leadership is!

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18)

A Christian ought to engender peace in his or her environment. Don’t be the center of a “storm” through gossip or backbiting. When there is a conflict, he or she does not evade the problem. Whenever possible, he tries his best to resolve issues and bring reconciliation, since he believes what Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

“if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)

A Christian goes after God’s wisdom in every area of life. Why? Because life is full of surprises and unexpected circumstances. The world is changing so rapidly that people find it hard to cope! The wonderful news is that you have a generous God who is all set to lead you through the maze of life. There is one condition—you must be “connected.” You are obligated to keep alive a real and growing relationship with God.

The above are seven principles, snippets of the practical wisdom taught in the Bible. With them in view, I would like to finish with one last promise found in Psalm 1:2-3, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”

Do you want to be successful? Then delight in and live out His commands!

About Rev Robert Lum

Rev Rober Lum is the Senior Pastor of the Eternal Life Assembly and  serves  as the Assistant General Superintendent of AG Singapore. Known for his friendliness and passion, Rev Robert Lum or Bob is a “people’s pastor.” After a 5-year banking career, he entered full- time ministry in 1985. He is married to Dorothy, and they have three daughters and a son-in-law.

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