How do we ensure that we honor the highest degree of integrity and ethics in business? The Highest form of marketing for God is to just be like Him. We serve Him best when we emulate Him. Now, you might be wondering exactly how we mere humans could even entertain the notion of being like almighty God, especially in the ruthless and cutthroat world of business. Well, this may not be as much of a quantum leap as you might think.
Be Imitators of God
First, we must remember that God created us in His own image (Genesis 1:26). He calls us “gods” and we are instructed to be imitators of God (Psalm 82:6; John 10:34; Ephesians 5:1). So, we must leverage our godly brand attributes and obey His commandment to imitate or be like Him.
Be Conformed to the Image of His Son
Fortunately, God has already given us a professional coach to help us with this. God declares that we are to be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29, NKJV; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
Jesus Christ is our ultimate role model and coach. He is the Benchmark. The Standard. The Bible tells us that we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and Christ has the mind of God, so being like Him is not impossible.
Jesus tells us:
Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me (John 14:10, NLT).
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you (John 13:15, NLT).
Jesus is saying that He has given us an example and a pattern to follow so that we can serve as effective ambassadors and marketing vehicles for God. You don’t have to lecture or preach about God at work. The only thing you and I need to do is just be like Jesus.
The Bible says that “Jesus went around doing good” (Acts 10:38, NLT). Just by reading the Bible and learning more about Jesus and His leadership practices, we can learn so much about how to be ambassadors for God, particularly within the commercial arena.
For example, God despises dishonesty, and this includes dishonesty in all form.
Scripture tells us:
The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth (Proverbs 12:22, NLT).
The Lord also detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights (Proverbs 11:1; 16:11, NLT).
Just be like Him in the workplace and in the marketplace and you will attract the attention of others. Just being like Jesus equates to leading and ministering to others by example. We are to exemplify godly principles in our business philosophy and practice. We are to be holy because He is holy (Leviticus 20: 7-8; 1 Peter 1:14-16).
When we commit to being like Him, we are committing to be role models in our conduct (1 Timothy 4:12). We are committing to show others how to be “a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned” (Titus 2:7-8, NKJV) putting our opponents to shame to the point that they have nothing negative to say about us! We are committing to set the Highest standards for others to follow by allowing our business practices to give credence to our belief in God. But does this mean that we have to be perfect?
Must we be perfect?
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:1 (NKJV) that we must mature as individuals and “grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.” We are to be obedient to God and live and mature by following the example of the life of Jesus Christ. But this doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect. We just need to exemplify excellence and wisdom. Remember, excellence is doing your best. Excellence is not perfection. We will never be perfect, for we all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We just need to do our best to live the Christian life we espouse so that God can use our faith, testimonies, and blessings to bring others closer to Him.
If you want to learn more about ethics in business or are interested in ongoing business and leadership skill-development, consider joining a Convene Peer Advisory Group.
You can also learn more about biblical leadership in this Convene White Paper, “Understanding and Emulating the Owner’s Character”.
About the Author
Dr. K. Shelette Stewart
Dr. K. Shelette Stewart serves in a leadership role with Harvard University overseeing strategic partnerships with global corporations for Harvard Business Company. She is an international keynote speaker and the author of the award-winning book, Revelations in Business: Connecting Your Business Plan with God’s Purpose and Plan for Your Life, which has been formally endorsed by academic and business leaders including Dan Cathy, chairman and chief executive officer of Chick-fil-A. For more insights and information, please visit: www.shelettestewart.com