Big Business gets a bad rap in the postmodern West, and perhaps rightfully so in some instances. All cultures have their idolatries, and the sinful hijacking of capitalism tends toward the worship of excess, comparison, pride, and an “I win, you lose” mentality.
Unfortunately, we’re often guilty of defining things by their abuses instead of contending for their original design. The same is true here.
Many today fall victim to bitterness and jealousy and cast aside business as a just another self-centered mechanism for getting as much as possible from other people. You have money, I want that money, and I’m going to use every means I know how to get you to part with it, all so I can buy bigger houses, flashier cars, expensive jewelry, luxurious vacations, more, more more. This is the caricature of every evil corporate-type you see depicted in television and movies today.
And you can certainly find plenty of real-life examples to validate these assumptions. But is that really what business is all about, or did we allow something beautiful to be tainted by people who wield it in a broken way? I can use the same knife to ends someone’s life or perform life-saving surgery. It’s not the tool that’s broken, it’s a problem with the end user.
At its core, business is about giving not getting. Serving not acquiring. Good business is about adding value to other peoples’ lives, and in turn, we are compensated for that value. We make money by enhancing the existence of those around us. The more value we add, the more money we can make.
Are there inequities? Are there abuses? Of course! Idolatrous, sinful people have a bad habit of breaking good things. But that doesn’t change the fact that good business is about partnering with God to humbly serve His precious Creation. That’s true for you if you work in the corner office or the mail room.
It’s time to flip the script. It’s time to let the Gospel redeem the original design of our everyday work!
Question: How does your job today add value to the lives of those around you?