Being ethical in business, is it really possible!
Many people would take a list of good values and make them their guiding principles. And for years this may work until a real issue comes to light. Then, like the law, our ability to hold our standards will be tested and sadly often our ability to maintain our integrity is compromised. It is the way of rules, it is the way of law.
When I think of Christian ethics I quickly moved to the topic of honour and sonship. In my view ethics is not about rules but instead about “position” and “responsibility.” When we understand our position as sons in Gods kingdom and we understand our responsibilities as sons bringing honour to Daddy and managing our inheritance wisely then this changes our motives.
I had an interesting breakfast late last year with the chief executive of a major New Zealand company. He talked about maintaining integrity in the board room. In one instance there was a conflict between two products supplied by the chain. The marketing and legal teams had devised a way of dealing with it. At the meeting the CEO announced they would instead do the right thing and settle fairly rather than fight it.
This was not a sound business decision from a worldly perspective. It was purely ethical based on the CEO’s heart. He was representing his daddy’s kingdom, he was representing his faith, he was demonstrating who he was as a son of God.
I love the story of Zacchaeus in the Luke 19:1-10. Zacchaeus ran a pretty crooked tax system in his city and had become quite wealthy. He has an encounter with Jesus that totally changes his heart. From operating from a worldly perspective Zacchaeus is transformed to seeing things from a Kingdom of Heaven perspective.
So what does it look like in heaven? Well firstly there are no poor and secondly here are no corrupt systems! So immediately after his transforming encounter with Jesus he does something to help the poor AND fixes the corrupt tax system. The whole city is transformed and many lives changed for the better because of his kingdom decisions. Yes they were ethical decisions but they came from a heart totally transformed by an encounter with Jesus – they were heart responses not learnt actions.
Jesus said this man is now also a son of Abraham! When we become sons we enter Gods family, His kingdom. From that perspective, as sons of God, we can release heaven on earth.
Your kingdom come, your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.
Gods kingdom on heaven does not come through lists of good behaviours and rules. It come when sons and daughters realise their position and authority in Gods kingdom and take responsibility for releasing it on earth – in their spheres of influence. Jesus honoured his Father by only doing what he saw his Father do. The Holy Spirit always brings glory to the Father. When we, as sons and daughters, make our lives and actions point to our Daddy in heaven then we also bring honour to Him.
What is in heaven? Now release that on earth. What are you doing right now? Is it releasing heaven or conforming to worldly ways? What are you speaking now? Are your words building Gods kingdom or reinforcing mans? Is your life revealing your Father in heaven’s heart or the values of this world? Are you honouring the Father through work decisions and actions or not. Don’t look for a list of rule to follow to be ethical but look rather at the heart of God, the Spirit of God within us all.
We cannot consistently bring change to this fallen world through rules of behaviour. Values and principles will always be compromised by political correctness, society’s steady fall into darkness and the enemies influence over the worldly system.
Change comes when we replace a broken system with one that works! When we replace this worldly system with Gods kingdom. When we reveal or speak or live out a kingdom principle we are effectively (replacing) taking out the worldly system and releasing heaven into that situation.
That’s what sonship is – taking our daddy’s kingdom and advancing it into our spheres of influence, bringing Him honour.
Because its actually our inheritance as well!