With “God as my CEO”, what about profit? Is that part of the deal?
Of course! Since business done God’s way is a God-inspired plan to connect groups of people together so they interact to generate resources which He (not us) uses to establish His Kingdom on earth, then profit has to be part of the deal, by definition. If there’s no profit, it’s not a business!
But – why do we ask?
Money is inert, inanimate, and therefore without moral value. Neither making it nor owning it is either good or bad. Jesus began His life, as a baby, with a chest of gold given Him by eastern wise-men (Matt. 2:11); and during at least part of His ministry He wore such a costly robe that it was made with no seams (see John 19:23). He wasn’t fazed by His wealth but nor did He hang onto it, preferring the freedom of the open road to the ownership of houses and other possessions.
However, money can, and does, become a snare when we want it and prioritise it, especially for self-centred purposes. In that setting, it dominates, trapping us in a powerful mindset of idolatry… irrespective of whether we own a lot of it or only a little.
Jesus’ runs an Upside-Down Kingdom. He requires us to let it go emotionally, telling us that only then will we get it back – when it no longer control us (see Matt. 16:25). Once that happens, we often find ourselves making and managing more of it than before.
Paul was a tent-maker, most likely to the merchant-caravan industry. He offers business owners a valuable insight into what our attitudes to money and wealth need to be in order for God to trust us with large helpings of His Kingdom’s resources:
…for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with little, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:11b-13).
Paul’s apparent nonchalance to money came not from a disinterest in it, but from an unshakeable assurance that God would meet his needs – in fact, more than simply ‘meet’. God wants to care for us lavishly. I can imagine Paul saying: ‘Because I operate exclusively and determinedly out of God’s upside-down Kingdom values, where His wishes are infinitely more important than my needs, why would I ever worry about profit? It’s God’s job to take care of that, whilst my part is to listen, hear and obey.’ As he wrote further:
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19).
Although challenging to the core, is this a proposition we’re ready and willing to adopt?