Unquestionable Character: A 21-day Study in Stewardship.

Marketplace Justice

In Ezekiel's vision of the new temple there is an allotment of land adjacent to the holy district reserved for the prince. God stipulates that the prince is to maintain within his portion just balances and measures. This underscores the close relationship between holiness and right living that we see repeatedly throughout the Prophets. Evangelical theologian Wayne Grudem writes as follows regarding the attitudes of our hearts as we engage in business endeavors:

The Ten Commandments end with a reminder that God is concerned not only with our actions but also with our attitudes of heart, for God says, '[You shall not covet! anything that belongs to your neighbor]' (Ex 20:17)! In every aspect of business activity, God knows our hearts, and we must glorify him by having attitudes of heart in which he delights. '[May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer]' (Ps 19:14). '[He knows the secrets of the heart]' (Ps 44:21; see also Lk 16:15; Ac 15:8).

Therefore in all our ownership of property, and in all our stewardship, if we want to glorify God in business, we should seek to avoid pride and to have hearts full of love and humility toward others and toward God. In producing goods and services for others, and in using them for our own enjoyment, we should have hearts of thanksgiving to God for his goodness in providing these things to us. If we work for someone else, we should work as if we were working '[for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward]' (Col 3:23-24).

And if others work for us, we need to think of them as equal in value as human beings made in the image of God, and our heart's desire should be that the job bring them good and not harm. We should be thankful to God for money and profit, but we should never love money or profit. We are to love God and our neighbor instead.

And so all business activity tests our hearts. The good things that God gives us through business are very good, but we must always remember that God is infinitely better! ... Are our hearts set on God above all, or on the things that God gives? Jesus said, '[Love the Lord your God with all your heart! ]' (Mt 22:37), and '[You cannot serve both God and Money]' (Mt 6:24).

If we love God above all, as we look at all the business activities in the world around us, we will see evil mixed with good, and then our hearts should feel sorrow and grief when we see God's commands being disobeyed and his purposes violated. But our hearts should also be filled with joy and thanksgiving and praise to him for the wonders of his creation, and for his remarkable wisdom in designing so many amazing ways in which business activity in itself is fundamentally good and brings glory to God.