Christian Principles of Integrity & Business: Part 4
Strategies for FINANCIAL MATTERS & DECISIONS
For over two decades, as I have been in the business world as a business owner as well as working in large non profit organizations, as well as international corporations, as well as serving in the non-profit sector, I have learned many lessons and observed many approaches and philosophies of the ways people conduct themselves in the marketplace and when in pursuit of business.
The lessons emerged through my relationships with other business leaders, government officials, customers while performing work for them, suppliers and additional lessons have been learned as I served in churches, Christian schools and universities, and para-church ministries.
The following principles guide the development of my business actions and relationships. I’ve carefully searched the scriptures and confirmed the biblical accuracy of the principles. Wiser persons have already discovered similar principles and the list is surely longer than the one enclosed, but this list is born by the path I’ve traveled.
I have shared these ideas with my children, family members, friends, partners and potential partners, with the hope that they may benefit from my experiences. And now, through a series of several articles and postings, I am sharing them with you, the blogging and internet world.
I hope that you will find the content helpful, encouraging, substantial, and that it will encourage you in your own efforts to integrate and live out your Christian faith in the marketplace.
The postings cover the following 7 Key Areas:
* Part 1: The PURPOSE of a Christian owned or ran company/organization
* Part 2: Guideline for Determining Personal & Professional Pursuits
* Part 3: Thoughts on PLANNING
* Part 4: Strategies for FINANCIAL MATTERS & DECISIONS
* Part 5: Advice on PARTNERSHIPS & STRATEGIC ALLIANCES
* Part 6: How to establish and determine AGREEMENTS in business
* Part 7: PEOPLE TO AVOID in business
God brings success and prosperity. He expects obedience to His commandments and to utilize Spirit-directed application of principles found in His Word.
1. Genesis 22:14 Jehovah Jireh “The Lord Provides” Deuteronomy 8:18, 11:13-15, 28:1-14 Psalm 1:1-3, 75:6-7 Proverbs 3:5-10, 8:18-19, 24:3-4 Isaiah 30:23, 65:21-23 Matthew 6:33 II Corinthians 9:6-8 Philippians 4:19.
2. God wants me to be a steward of His provision Malachi 3:10.
3. The Lord commands that I provide for my family I Timothy 5:8 and leave an inheritance to my children’s children Proverbs 13:22.
4. We are to be generous with God’s provision Proverbs 11:24, especially with those who helped us achieve success.
5. God wants me to pursue faithfulness to Him and not to be owned by material rewards Luke 16:13.
6. While the Lord is merciful and forgiving, He may withdraw opportunities as a consequence for disobedience e.g., Moses was prevented from entering the promised land and David was prevented from building the temple.
The organization which I co-founded in 1998, Truth@Work was started with my life savings and cashed in investment monies. My family lived frugally and sacrificed to build our company. At this point, I have no debt to investors or a bank loan. As revenue increased, I was able to afford increased benefits and enhance the organization.
I don’t believe debt or excessive credit should be used to sustain corporate survival, but only to afford expansion based on a realistic expectation of projected revenue and the ability to repay the debt Proverbs 22:7.
a. Likewise, if I ever merge my organization with another, I will evaluate the company’s financial stability before agreeing to the acquisition.
Financial arrangements between partnering firms will be discussed, defined, and documented before work commences. This enables alignment of understandings.
a. Training and consulting fees, instructional design fees, intellectual property ownership issues, commission rates, company ownership stock issues, and whatever method of compensation will be agreed to prior to performing the work.
b. Payment for services is a biblical requisite Proverbs 3:27-28, Jeremiah 22:13, Matthew 10:10, I Timothy 5:18, James 5:4.
i. There must be agreement about the terms and timing of payment.
ii. Performing the work of a minister or performing work for ministries does not eliminate the factor of financial compensation though I may elect not to accept payment, thus should not be taken for granted by the customer.
c. Any firm that engages my services will appreciate the risk/reward ratio and compensate me according to the investment I make in the firm&rsquos success.
I will avoid “rich quick schemes” and other ventures that promise easy prosperity Proverbs 10:4, 28:20.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.