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Business Relations and Financial Responsibilities


Serious problems exist in the workplace. Employees are sometimes paid inadequately or treated unfairly. Sometimes they in turn justify laziness, indifference, even stealing from their company. Some companies are dishonest, misrepresenting their product or charging for work not done. How should Christians act in a business environment such as this?

A. Christians Should Work Diligently and Obey Their Supervisors.

Ephesians 6:5-8 -- Work with good will as though working for the Lord. If our employer treats us poorly, we are not justified in being lazy or rebellious (1 Peter 2:18). We must still work as if the Lord Himself was our supervisor.

Work as diligently when you are not being watched as you should when being watched, because God always watches. You may be rewarded by your employer, but even if not, you will be rewarded by God.

Titus 2:9,10 -- Obey in "all things." As with civil law, we may not choose to obey some rules but disregard others. Do not speak disrespectfully to a supervisor. And do not justify stealing or taking things home without permission. Be faithful in all things.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 -- One who will not work, should not eat. Businesses should not pay people who refuse to work, unions should not defend them, and neither relatives nor charitable organizations should provide for them.

Matthew 20:1-16 -- As long as you are paid the wage you agreed to work for, don't complain.

Do you work diligently on your job as though working for the Lord?

[Ephesians 4:28; Colossians 3:22-4:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:11,12; 1 Timothy 6:1,2; 5:8; Luke 3:12-14; Matthew 20:1-16]

B. Christians Should Treat Their Employees Fairly and Honestly.

Some companies are so determined to make profit that they are unkind or unfair to their employees. Or they find some workers cheat them, so they cheat the employees wherever they can, or they become unreasonable toward them all.

Colossians 4:1 -- Masters should be fair. They should realize they too have a Master, so they should treat their laborers as they would want to be treated.

James 5:1,4 -- Woe to those who cheat their laborers and do not pay what has been rightly earned.

[Jer. 22:13; Eph. 6:9]

C. Christians Should Pay Their Debts.

Individuals often fail to pay their debts. They borrow money or articles or buy a product on payments, but then they refuse to return the item or to repay the lenders. They say, "This is just a loan, I will pay you back," but never do.

Psalm 37:21 -- One who borrows and does not pay again is wicked.

Romans 13:6-8 -- Not only must we pay our taxes, but render to all what is due.

James 5:12 -- Saying we will pay and then refusing to do so is failing to let your "yea" be "yea."

Are you paying your debts to those whom you owe?

[Romans 1:31,32]

D. Christians Should Deal Honestly in All Financial Matters.

2 Corinthians 8:20,21 -- Provide for things that are honorable ("honest" -- KJV) in the sight of God and man (cf. Rom. 12:17).

Deuteronomy 25:13-16 -- It is an abomination before God to deal unjustly. An example is deliberately using inaccurate weights so as to charge for a "pound" or a "gallon" but then give less.

Other people keep inaccurate records so as to cheat others. Some deceive customers about the quality of their product or what it will do. All such dishonesty is contrary to God's word.

[1 Peter 3:15,16; Luke 3:12-14; Prov. 11:1; 19:22]

The right rule in all business dealing is to treat others as you yourself would want to be treated (Matt. 7:12).

For more information on this subject, please visit our Bible Instruction web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct/ and study our in-depth articles there about family relations and proper treatment of other people. 


(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2/5/2005

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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.

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