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  • Writer's pictureDave Bates

What does it mean to run a business for the glory of God?

1 Corinthians 10:31 reminds us to do everything for the glory of God.

Matthew 5:13-16 encourages us to be salt and light to the praise of God the Father.

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we encounter many places that speak of the glory of God and the fame of His Name. Few, if any, directly speak about what it means in relation to our work.

Adam's job in the garden of Eden was to tend and "work" it. When sin entered the world, the work became more difficult. The ground resisted as it produce thorns and thistles.

As business owners, it can often feel like our work is difficult. We invest a lot of time and effort in new ideas, strategies, and tactics. The day-to-day balance between vision and implementation can sap our strength and resolve.

The struggle focuses us more on production and profit than the purpose in leading a business.

As Christians, having a business for the glory of God means that our business is a way we show the attributes of God to a world that needs to see Him. It is a tool for being salt and light as He enables us in the work we're made to do.

Profit is a fine thing. In fact, Wayne Grudem, a systematic theologian, suggests in his book Business For The Glory Of God, "profit is fundamentally good". But for a Christian business owner, it isn't the primary thing. It certainly isn't the only thing.

For what purpose does your business exist? It's easy to give the "expected" answer. It takes humility and honesty to reflect more deeply.

What drives our decisions?

When we're confronted with a difficult choice between a significant profit maximizing option and a potentially painful "right thing to do", do we deny ourself the "success" and step out in reliance on God's provision?

What stories do we tell of success? Of trial? Are they laced with our decisions, our choices, and our actions, or do we tell the story of God and His sovereignty, mercy, discipline, and other attributes?

Having a business for the glory of God means we actively embrace our unique platform for reaching other business leaders with the gospel message in ways they may never have seen before.

What longer lasting fruit might our efforts produce as we continually challenge ourselves to shift our perspective to this true purpose in our work?

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