Depending upon your circle of influence, you may have heard that you should never think of mixing faith and business. Those who say that the loudest are usually people who don’t really believe faith and matters of religion are relevant to business, and considered way too controversial. However, there are many people considered quite religious that also take the same position. I believe you cannot actually separate the two and be a person of integrity. Here’s why…
Mixing Faith and Business…the Dilemma of Integrity
True faith affects your entire being…your worldview. It can’t be turned off and on. It IS part of you…all the time. That said, this does not mean that every sentence you utter needs to be punctuated with “Praise the Lord” or a Bible verse. It simply means that your view of God, His Word and its relevancy to your life impacts every aspect of that life, intentionally or not. Ideally, our faith ought to inform every thought we think, every word we say, and everything we do. We need to live as if God matters!
Some believe that the reason you should never be mixing faith and business is because you would then become “preachy” and turn off potential clients. Depending on your target market and your own level of spiritual wisdom, that could be true. But it doesn’t need to be so. Being a person of faith does not require you to hand out the “4 Spiritual Laws” everywhere you go. Being a person of integrity requires that every of area of life be congruent with your basic philosophy of life. “Faith without works is dead,” is what James (Ya’acov) said (James 2:17). That means that faith without action is irrelevant and powerless to change lives. If your faith is not expressed in what you do, and only in what you think, it may be wise to consider if you even have true faith.
Mixing Faith and Business…a Key to Business Success
But maybe you aren’t aware of the business and practical life wisdom found in the Bible. If that’s the case, a close look at Solomon’s book of Proverbs is in order. It is FULL of admonitions about success, wealth, honesty and character…all topics relevant to any business owner or leader. Solomon had no problem with mixing faith and business. Furthermore, the Bible is full of examples of wealthy men (ie. Abraham, Jacob, Solomon, David, etc…) and women (Queen Esther, the anonymous “Proverbs 31″ woman, and Lydia in Acts 16) whose lives demonstrated the results of living according to God-given principles. The Bible also tells the stories of many powerful men and women leaders who utilized the wisdom and understanding given to them by God to impact their community and nation, some even with global impact!
In our day, the impact of publicly living one’s faith in the context of contemporary culture, business and leadership is seen in the lives of people like Corrie Ten Boom, whose faith and courage saved many from the Nazi death camps, or Martin Luther King, whose faith and boldness brought needed correction and reconciliation to a nation deeply divided (unrighteously and unbiblically!) along racial lines.
In more recent days, Tim Tebow’s willingness to live his life in the public eye without apologies for his faith has made him a role model for many young men. And Hobby Lobby stores’ owner David Green’s courage to resist government policies’ coercive regulations requiring his business to provide benefits he believes are forbidden by God’s authority in his life has made him an example of integrity lived all the way from private to public life. Chic Fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy’s decision to endure public scorn and misunderstanding regarding his statements on God’s view of marriage and homosexuality, consistent with his faith, angered many but also drew support from others.
In much of the Western world, most faith-consistent stands aren’t so public or controversial. Faith-based business owners and entrepreneurs care about God’s view of their lives and business and don’t exclude Him from that arena. And most enjoy the blessings of that faithfulness. They realize that there are both earthly and eternal rewards for faithfulness in all things.
Mixing Faith and Business…Does it lead to “Fleecing the Flock”?
There is one other issue that comes up when discussing matters of mixing faith and business. Some are concerned that faith and religious matters could be used to manipulate people, to “fleece the flock”, so to speak. And it DOES happen. Unscrupulous individuals have deceived unsuspecting, vulnerable victims and taken advantage of someone’s religious beliefs to sell things of little value to people who didn’t need them, for prices they could not really afford. This is a different matter altogether, one of toxic manipulation. Those who engage in those practices will someday find themselves in the hands of an angry God!
Mixing Faith and Business…God is worthy to be included in all we do!
Our God YHVH is worthy of our praise, honor, and our faithfulness. He deserves for His people to submit to His authority in all areas of life so that His Kingdom will be made manifest, present on Earth in our day, everywhere.
If we will allow Him to reign in every area, including mixing faith and business, His impact on Earth will increase, along with His justice, His mercy, His love and His compassion. Any attempt to make a particular area of our lives “off-limits” to Him actually limits His effective presence and power on Earth, since He uses His people to express Himself in all spheres of culture, including business. “Mixing faith and business”, under-girded with maturity and understanding, allows us to tap in to the Creator Himself.
Where corruption is rampant, His presence is missing. Where greed rules, His authority, generosity and abundance are missing. Where hatred dominates, His love has been excluded. It is time to take back territory for Him, not through force, but through influence. Will you live with integrity, offering real value to your customers while mixing faith and business (and allowing God to infuse EVERY other area of your life) allowing God’s creative genius, wisdom, revelation and understanding to impact your “mountain” for His Kingdom and the benefit of those your life influences? I encourage you to not be afraid of mixing faith and business and see how it impacts your life and your “bottom line” profits.
Question: Are you comfortable mixing faith and business or have you kept God out of your business? If you have, why? If you have invited Him to take an active role in your business, what benefits and challenges have you experienced?
I welcome your answers and relevant comments below! Feel free to add your website URL to your comments. I love to know what projects my readers are passionate about! (Your comment will not be posted immediately as all comments are moderated to add value and not just promotional links.)