Loreena was kind enough to make this post available for a re-blog. Enjoy! :-)
I know there would be a never-ending debate to this topic: Should we ever bring religion and faith into your business?
I feel deeply about this topic off and on, so I want to share some of my personal thoughts in this subject matter. See if you agree with me. And if you don't, that's perfectly fine too. What I do not want are heated arguments and slandering. I cannot and will not tolerate it. We can respectfully disagree. Please follow my story as I answer this question.
I am whom I am in business and in life. I dont think you can separate me that way. One thing that I strive to do is to live a life worthy of one statement: "Well done, my good and faithful servant". Everything I do, I hope to live out this ultimate goal that someday, when my time has come, God would greet me in Heaven with those words.
If you didn't know, my Christian walk is very new. I have only been a Christ follower for about five years. Although very short, I feel I have come a long ways from where I used to be. Don't get me wrong. I was never an evil person and for those who are not Christians, I'm not saying that you are. But my life and especially my view points in every single thing I do, say or think have thoroughly changed since taking up the cross.
My father (who is not a believer yet) and I debated this topic several years ago. Although he knows Christ, he chooses not to accept Him "yet". For some reason, he thinks that Christians lead a deprived life. He wants to accept Christ right before he passes on so that he gets to go to Heaven. But not before because I think he still wants to "party".
My answer to "mixing religion/ faith and business" has alot to answer his fears/ concerns.
I know the life I lived before. It's not a horrible life but knowing what I know now, I know it can be much better. I used to worship at the altar of the Green Bucks (money) for it brought alot of security to me. At 20, away from my parents and thousands of miles away, I learnt very quickly that money can buy alot of problems away - much faster than my mom and dad could buy a plane ticket here to rescue me. (They are 30 hours flight time away). I worked ALOT and don't get me wrong, my husband and I have probably set ourselves apart financially from most people our age because we were savers. But that was the only life I knew. Work, work, work at all costs to gain what the World recognize as Success: Fame and Power.
Family bonding time are not important to me and I didn't know how to appreciate the beauty of God's natural wonders. I lived a very stressful life of trying to acquire more because Bigger was Better.
Since I decided to take up that cross, I personally feel that things are seem to make more sense. I start to enjoy life more and I start to appreciate people better - in a much more in-depth and meaningful way. I also believe that I would not write in the style and level that I do, had I not decided to take up that cross.
It used to be ALL about Me. Although I'm still learning, it's ALL about THEM now. I learn to take the focus off me and put it on those around me: be it my clients, my friends or family.
Christians dont live a deprived life. And if you ask me... those individuals who truly and fully live for God are those who have inner peace that no man or money can buy.
Also, when tragedy strike (yes, Christians face all sorts of challenges just like non-Christians), there is an underlining peace that covets me, that previously wasn't here.
I honestly believe that I wouldn't be as ethical or carry as high of an integrity level in my business dealings should I have never taken up that cross. It used to be all about me. So, back then, I would have sought an answer for me while trying to find a good solution for my clients.
I dont want to project a horrible image of myself in my previous life because I still had alot of good characteristics. But it is truly different now. I guess you have to experience the difference yourself to really know what I mean.
One quote keeps ringing in my head: Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching. That is what I want to live up to - in life and in business. And yes, I know you can do that even without being a Christian. But I can only answer to my life. So, my answer is always right for my life.
How could one ever separate faith in the workplace would really boggles me. While I try to lead a life worthy of my life statement, I never beat the bible over my clients' heads, I never ever once bring up the subject about religion. I honestly feel that there is no need to. There is only one agenda for my clients - to super-serve them the best way I know how. It is not to ask them to become believers. Their time will come and my mission is clear. To love on all God's people. That's all I am called to do and I plan to do it well.
Here are some of the principles I apply in my business that are biblically based:
- Do to others as you want others do unto you.
- Dont worry about anything, instead pray about everything.
- My God is my provider, not man.
- God made the bees and the ants. He make them work to find food everyday and they have never went without. So, if God cares about the birds and the flowers so much, what more would he do for me - the apple of His eye?
- Be still and know that I am God.
- When trouble comes your way, consider it an opportunity to grow. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
- If you need wisdom, ask God (not man).
- When you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver. When your loyalty is divided between God and man, you become unstable in everything you do.
- Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.
- I planted, Apollos watered but God made it grow.
- Even Jesus didn't come to be served, but serve.
So, there you have it in my long answer. When someone "brings" their religion/ faith into the business, it doesn't always have to mean having an "evangelical" motive. Sometimes, we are only called to serve and serve them well. God will do the rest. It's not your plan so back out of it.
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