THE GOD-CENTERED BUSINESS
The words in Philippians 2:5 (NKJV), “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” should permeate the heart of every business person and any discussion about Christ in the marketplace must consider what it means to do business like Jesus would.
To start on this journey of understanding we must first ask, what is stewardship? There are numerous definitions and many tend to confuse the real issues. A good working definition of stewardship is: “The art, study, practice and experience of God-centered living for the sole purpose of character development in preparation for Heaven.”
So that means that every minute of every day, "24/7 and 365," our lives should reflect Christ living within us. Every decision, every choice, every action will be under the “umbrella” of His influence in our lives. This is not something that comes naturally but it is the single purpose of the stewardship gift. If we want to know how to truly live for Christ all we need to do is study biblical stewardship.
Character is power. The silent witness of a true, unselfish, godly life carries an almost irresistible influence. By revealing in our own life the character of Christ we co-operate with Him in the work of saving souls. It is only by revealing in our life His character that we can co-operate with Him.
"Character is power. The silent witness of a true, unselfish, godly life carries an almost irresistible influence. By revealing in our own life the character of Christ we co-operate with Him in the work of saving souls. It is only by revealing in our life His character that we can co-operate with Him. And the wider the sphere of our influence, the more good we may do. When those who profess to serve God follow Christ's example, practicing the principles of the law in their daily life; when every act bears witness that they love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves, then will the church have power to move the world" (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 340).
Stewardship is often connected to finances, fund-raising, and tithes and offerings. But stewardship is not a synonym for money; it is vastly greater than the money question and of greater importance than most people think. In fact, I’ve come to understand and teach that stewardship is the most important aspect of the Christian’s life. It specifies and defines what a relationship with Christ is like. Without it every spiritual discipline is worthless and meaningless. It is foundational to living life on this earth and will be the model for life in eternity.
Consider Daniel, a government employee, who had climbed to a very high level of leadership in the kingdom of Babylon. Daniel knew that his life was centered on God and that he had been placed in his position by God’s providential leading. Think about Daniel and his friends and how they were true to their values in the face of not only losing their jobs but even their lives. They also exhibited incredible integrity in all of their dealings.
"Of Daniel we learn that in all his business transactions, when subjected to the closest scrutiny, not one fault or error could be found. He was a sample of what every businessman may be. His history shows what may be accomplished by one who consecrates the strength of brain and bone and muscle, of heart and life, to the service of God" (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 350).
usiness is a place of great influence and a place where great good for the Kingdom can be accomplished.
Therefore, as men and women enter into the marketplace in business for themselves or working for others, they will literally reflect the character of Christ in their dealings. Business is a place of great influence and a place where great good for the Kingdom can be accomplished.
Some people think that the defining moment in stewardship is when the offering plate is passed around. This is a very narrow view of stewardship. The defining moment is not a moment at all; it is an attitude that permeates every conscious moment. Stewardship is not just a part of the Christian’s life; it is the Christian’s life!