Beyond Business Ethics by Patrice Tsague

“Jesus said to him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.'” Matthew 19:21

by Patrice Tsague

I am often told, “I‘m a Christian and operate my business ethically. I’m fair to my employees, take good care of my customers and do not cheat on my taxes; why do I still need to take the Biblical Entrepreneurship course?” What else do people who are already running their businesses in a biblical manner need to learn about doing business God’s way?

In the gospels of Mathew, Mark and Luke, there is a story of a rich young ruler who approaches Jesus to request what he must do to have eternal life. Jesus’ response to him is that he must keep the commandments; he must not murder, he must not commit adultery, he must not steal, he must not bear false witness, he must honor his mother and father, and he must love his neighbor as himself. The young ruler’s response to Jesus was that he has kept all these commandments from his youth. He wanted Jesus to let him know what else he lacked. Jesus tells him to sell what he has and give to the poor; by so doing he would store up treasures in heaven, and then to follow Him. But the young man, after hearing those words from Jesus, becomes sad and walks away because he is very rich.

The young ruler had been ethical based on the standards of his time. However, that was not good enough for Jesus because in the kingdom we must move beyond ethics to righteousness. Ethics is defined as the principles relating to right and wrong conduct or morality. Ethics limits itself to right and wrong based on societal standards or the acceptable standard by the majority, while righteousness focuses on being right with God. Righteousness is a lifestyle based on God’s acceptable standards alone. Righteousness has no bearing on the acceptable practices of man; rather, it seeks to draw us closer to becoming like God. Like the rich young ruler, many of us have limited ourselves to being ethical rather than seeking righteousness. Here is the difference between ethics and righteousness.

Ethics

  • I operate my business based on acceptable moral conduct.
  • I seek to be fair to everyone.
  • I follow the law of the land and the guidelines of my industry.
  • I seek to please others.
  • I pay my taxes and give to the poor.
  • Man is good and just needs to be guided.
  • There can be several ways to get to God; you just have to find the right one for you.

Righteousness

  • I operate my business based on God’s standard.
  • I seek to be just.
  • I make sure I obey God’s word while adhering to the law of the land.
  • I seek to please God.
  • I pay my taxes, tithe, and give generously as God directs me.
  • I believe man is sinful and needs salvation.
  • There is only one way to God – Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, the more ethical a person is, the more difficult it is to get him or her to understand the need for the Savior. Such people believe that if they do all the right things there is no need for a savior. The rich young ruler was willing to do everything for God, except submit to God. What was most precious to him? His possessions. All those who limit themselves to ethics give up everything except that which is most important to them, while those who seek to be righteous turn everything to God and are prepared to follow Him wherever He leads.

Where are you in your spiritual journey? Are you prepared to move beyond ethics and trust God with everything?

Copyright © 2010 Patrice Tsague ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

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Patrice Tsague, a gifted speaker, author, and entrepreneurship coach, is the Chief Servant Officer of Nehemiah Project International Ministries (NPIM). He thrives on equipping and empowering Christians to take dominion and fulfill God’s plan for their lives through biblically based, entrepreneurial training. NPIM offers a proprietary certificate business discipleship course called the “Biblical Entrepreneurship Certificate Program”. The program provides a strong mix of core business concepts and biblical principles. Some of the courses offered include Principles of Biblical Entrepreneurship (BE I), Practices of Biblical Entrepreneurship (BE II), and Planning a Kingdom Business (BE III). To learn more about how NPIM launches entrepreneurs into their God-designed destiny, please visit www.nehemiahproject.org.

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About Paul Wilson Jr.
Paul Wilson, Jr. is a "Dream Catalyst" and Marketplace Pastor for leaders and entrepreneurs. He is driven to lead people to unleash God’s potential in their lives through their purpose, passions, and professional skills. He equips leaders with creative, faith-based strategies to flourish spiritually and professionally, while operating from several multi-media platforms, including TV show host, inspirational speaker, and stimulating writer. Paul is the President of Kingdom Business University, which utilizes workshops, consulting, and coaching services to ignite Christian catalysts maximize their God-given mission in the marketplace. He is the author of the life purpose igniter “Dream B.I.G. in 3D: How to Pursue a Bold, Innovative God-Inspired Life!” He is also the host of Passion in Action, a motivational and educational faith-based Internet TV show for social entrepreneurs, business leaders, and community change agents. Contact us today to learn more about how he can help your business, church, or community to thrive on purpose!

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