I have a question for you: Do you ever wonder where the “honor” in business has gone? I don’t mean a lack of honorable people and actions in business. What I want to talk about is how owning and running business no longer is perceived as an honorable profession. It seems that being successful and making a profit is looked down upon, if not outright hated, even if that business is providing valuable products and services.
Often these days, capitalism is equated with greed. How many times have you been told to look at the example of Gordon Gecko in the 1980’s? But that was a fictional character in a movie, you may respond. But what about Abramoff? Yes, he is a real person, albeit a greedy and selfish one. And he doesn’t represent capitalists as a whole.
Capitalism isn’t bad it is an honorable way to live, if you do business honorably and serve your customers well. Capitalism is about the exchange of goods and services from someone who has and can produce/provide them to someone who needs them and can buy them … at a price that both can agree on. In the big picture, all of us are capitalists in some way; whether we own the business or work in the business, we are in the business of exchanging our time and efforts for money or things.
So I would like to take this opportunity to reintroduce myself: Hello my name is Lea Strickland and I am a capitalist. But that’s not all I am. I am also a Christian Business Owner. On a daily basis, I work hard to run a profitable business and to do so under the tenets and beliefs of my faith. I serve God and my customers. I do business by THE Book, the Holy Bible. Some days I do better than others. Most days—okay every day—I miss the mark on being perfect. But fortunately God knows me, loves me and gives me tomorrow to try again.
Being a Christian Capitalist is filled with challenges, both spiritual and material. The media seems to have declared it open season on both capitalists and Christians. To be a Christian Capitalist means I must be the root of all evil by seeking to make money, and foolishly misguided (at best) to put my faith (literally) in Christ. Both capitalism and Christianity are becoming things not to be spoken of in the public square.
For those of you who know me, staying silent about anything I believe in is impossible. When God handed out personalities, mine was not labeled “shy, quiet, or uncertain.” I prefer bold, outspoken, opinionated … you get the idea. In the past year, I have been led to take those personality characteristics and use them for God’s purposes, more so than ever before, by founding the Christian Business Owners Network.
Being a Christian Business Owner is about three things: Christ, Character, and Community (check out www.thecbonetwork.com). It’s about joining together in faith to work in, on and through our businesses on our character. It’s about doing business honorably—based on Biblical principles—and building a community to support and grow as individuals, leaders, business owners, and in our faith.
Christianity and Christian Business principles are not about a specific denomination, but what we have in common: Christ as our Savior, Lord, and Master. Our focus is on the Christian Business as a ministry to show everyone the Glory of God.
Author: Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
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