Is a Business Servant-like?

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Maybe I’m simple minded but I value businesses and the economic system, I live in. It’s not perfect, but seems better than most alternatives.

Let me explain. On a day to day basis, I’m free to buy any number of products and services. In almost all cases there is lots of competition and products that provide real choice. I’m employed by a business that pays me an agreed upon salary.  When I chose to enter the line of work that I’m in, there was information available letting me know my potential income and demand for my skills in the workplace.

In our system a business does not exist to employ people. A business exists to make an income and profit for the owners. Employees in a sense are a necessary cost for them to achieve that end. I may not like to hear this as an employee, but it is the truth. In our system, If I don’t like that I can start my own business and generate revenues directly for myself.  However, that’s hard work and most of us are not inclined for the headaches and problems that such a venture involves.  So we work for others who burden those headaches and risks.

I am thankful to those who start businesses and run them. They provide jobs – a good thing. They provide a product or service that must be valued – a good thing. If it’s not valued and priced fairly the business will go under.  A business that delivers great service at a fair price will succeed. A successful business typically has a servant like attitude.  God loves servants and I am thankful for them.

But …

As a business grows the ownership can change. The founder who originally had a passion for the endeavor that the business was engaged in,  might sell shares to others or move on. The growth and change in ownership can cause the owners to be disengaged from the people it’s serving and the employees providing those services.  With more success the business gains power. This power is sometimes leveraged to produce unfair advantages. These unfair advantages can squeeze out competitors and contribute the concentration of wealth to a few.

The distribution of wealth in the United States and most of the world is VERY lopsided. I don’t have an answer but do believe Christian businesses and business people really need to consider the scripture below carefully.

1-3 And a final word to you arrogant rich: Take some lessons in lament. You’ll need buckets for the tears when the crash comes upon you. Your money is corrupt and your fine clothes stink. Your greedy luxuries are a cancer in your gut, destroying your life from within. You thought you were piling up wealth. What you’ve piled up is judgment.  4-6 All the workers you’ve exploited and cheated cry out for judgment. The groans of the workers you used and abused are a roar in the ears of the Master Avenger. You’ve looted the earth and lived it up. But all you’ll have to show for it is a fatter than usual corpse. In fact, what you’ve done is condemn and murder perfectly good persons, who stand there and take it. Msg James 5:1-6

In the book Modern Parables for Financial Freedom there is a story titled ‘After the Conference’ in it a young couple, who have started a business, consider leaving it to do missions. Such a consideration is noble, but a business that serves the public with a fairly priced product or service is noble too.  Read the story and see what you think.

For further reading:

Consider these Articles:  Christian-Economics and Article by Roger Olson

 

 

 

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