Women's Christian Podcast

Christian Business Ethics: A Guide for Christian Women

In today’s fast-paced world, where the lines between personal ambition and ethical conduct can often blur, how do we, as high-achieving Christian women in business and the boardroom, reflect Christ with our business ethics?

 

Understanding Purpose in Business

Purpose is more than just a buzzword; it’s the driving force behind everything we do. As Christian women, our ultimate purpose is to glorify God in all areas of our lives, including our careers. We are to activate the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) in these environments where we have the honor of crossing paths with people who may have never known Jesus except through their interaction with us! How amazing that God positions us for such impact through our work!

When we understand that our work is a means of serving others and advancing God’s kingdom, it transforms the way we approach our professional endeavors. Whether we’re entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, or employees, we have the opportunity to be intentional about infusing our work with purpose, using our talents and resources to make a positive impact on the world around us.

Christian Business Ethics: The Fruit of the Spirit

So what is our foundation for business ethics as Christian women in business? Our faith calls us to conduct ourselves with honesty, fairness, and compassion, even in the face of challenges or temptations. As I sought biblical truth for defining business ethics, Holy Spirit took me to Galatians:

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Galatians 5:22-23

This was such a powerful example of where such fruit informs how we show up in business and the boardroom!

As followers of Jesus, we have a unique opportunity to be beacons of light in our workplaces, demonstrating integrity and righteousness in all our dealings. Truly bringing the fruit of the Spirit to life in our everyday work, while keeping our values at the forefront, ahead of personal gain or worldly success. Here’s how this looks practically:

Love: We can demonstrate the agape love for God by seeking the best for others – our clients, our partnerships, even our competition. Seeking win-win outcomes is showing agape love. Showing compassion for those we serve and work with is showing agape love. It also means showing ourselves compassion, which is often a challenge for us high-achievers!

Joy: Deeper than happiness or gladness, joy is the profound delight and rejoicing that comes from knowing and serving God. It’s not about the world’s definition of happiness! The joy of the Lord is your strength, as it says in Nehemiah 8:10. This means that we can be joyful regardless of what’s happening. Even when that client says no, when we lose that contract, or when something doesn’t go the way we think it should, joy is knowing that ultimately the Lord provides. Joy is knowing we get to serve the Lord and He uses all the unique gifts He’s given us.

Peace: I believe peace is key to our business ethics because it is one clear way we reflect Christ in the marketplace. Imagine the times you encounter a client ina stressful, frantic situation and you bring calm, peace and solutions to them! This approach is rare in today’s turbulent times, and how loved and blessed are we that God positions us to reflect such peace that is beyond understanding. It is in these moments that the opportunity share the gospel may arise, as that client asks you how you’re so calm in the midst of their chaos. You never know where your peace opens a door!

Patience or long suffering: Patience is in short supply in the business world, isn’t it? Our world moves at a harrowing pace, and everyone wants instant gratification. So how can we show patience as part of our ethics in doing business? It may be asking the right questions and showing compassion, or modeling the behavior of taking a pause to respond vs. react. It may also be saying no to a prospect who isn’t the right fit, but guiding them to the right resource (showing ourselves patience).

Kindness: Kindness can be hard to find these days, but what an opportunity to reflect Jesus and show up differently than the rest of the world in business! It could be showing compassion to clients or creating a work environment in which kindness reigns. Everyone wants to experience kindness – including ourselves! Let’s show such kindness that people continue to work with us and refer us!

Goodness: Living and working with faithful morals and motives, showing integrity and commitment, are all part of goodness in my opinion.

Faithfulness: Christians who produce the fruit of faithfulness are trustworthy, dependable, and seek the Lord in all their work. These are the people who radiate faith to a society that doesn’t even realize that’s what they’re seeking! Your faithfulness will give you an enduring business, even through the normal ups and downs. And it will anchor your perseverance in every situation.

Gentleness: To tell the truth with grace, engage in courageous conversations and navigate conflict, you need the fruit of gentleness. I have found time and time again that giving a client “tough love,” or declining to work with a prospect is well-received when I lean into gentleness. Someone may be disappointed but they respect my willingness to be gentle and honest with them.

Self-control: Don’t we all want self control? Human sin is our nature. Left to our own devices, we are always going to lean toward self-reliance, self-fulfillment, and all kinds of “I” statements. BUT GOD! Holy Spirit leads us in practicing self-control every day, guiding us to take a breath, take a pause, and remember that we are prepared and positioned for His glory. Self-control is also about walking in your lane: providing the leadership and services that only you can provide to the people that only God has aligned for you to work with. It may mean declining that next promotion or opportunity or client in favor of following God’s direction, but His way is always better than our own!

Practical Integration

Here’s the action list you’ve probably been awaiting! Integrate purpose and business ethics through:

  1. Bookend Your Day with Jesus: Start each workday with prayer, seeking God’s guidance and wisdom in aligning your work with His purpose. Finish each day with gratitude and rejoicing in His perfect direction.
  2. Intentional Decision-Making: Before making any business decision, consider its implications not only for your bottom line but also for the well-being of others and the advancement of God’s kingdom.
  3. Accountability and Community: Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who share your commitment to ethical business practices. Hold each other accountable and encourage one another to uphold integrity in all circumstances. (Schedule a call with me to learn more about the Faithful Visionaries Roundtable mastermind or ROOTED Group Coaching Community!)
  4. Continuous Learning: Stay informed about ethical issues relevant to your industry and seek opportunities for personal and professional growth in areas such as leadership, communication, and conflict resolution.

 

As Christian women in business and the boardroom, we are called to be ambassadors of Christ, reflecting His love, truth, and righteousness in every aspect of our professional lives. Through our business ethics, let us commit ourselves to pursuing excellence with integrity, knowing that our faithful obedience has the power to transform hearts, businesses, and entire communities for the glory of God. As we embrace our purpose and strive for ethical conduct, may we inspire others to do likewise, creating a world where righteousness and justice prevail in every sphere of influence.

 

For more on this topic:
Listen to episode 245 of Redefining Hustle: Pursuing Success as a Christian Woman
Institute for Faith, Work and Economics: https://tifwe.org/why-christians-should-exhibit-the-fruit-of-the-spirit-at-work/

I pray this speaks to you and your situation today. If you found this helpful, share it with a friend, and let me know with a DM on LinkedIn @erinharrigan or Instagram @erindharrigan

If your outward success is warring with your faith and priorities, I hear you. I see you. And it doesn’t have to be this way. God made you to be ambitious, but He didn’t make you to work the world’s way. I’m the coach that can help you break free from business as usual! Schedule a call to explore working with me: https://erinharrigan.com/discoverycall

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