As the economy remains in recovery, it’s commonplace to see businesses close their doors or established organizations cease operations as they find it the best available option given their current circumstance.
Many companies shrank expenses, stretched dollars and did everything they could to remain open and productive.
As opportunities surface and commerce perks up, it may not arrive soon enough for some businesses.
When a downswing ends, that means the trend has bottomed out, leveled and even begun a modest move upwards. Often rising far more slowly than the drop, this upswing can test even the most talented owners, leaders and managers.
It’s been said that how we respond to crisis tells more about us than any other circumstance. How we respond as Christians in the workplace should speak volumes about our faith and trust.
Make no mistake: God and others are watching with intense interest.
Do or die commitment
The book of Daniel has a story of full-surrender faith backed by action. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stood their ground when King Nebuchadnezzar ordered them to worship a golden statue. They clearly understood the consequences of their refusal, knowing the king would have them thrown into a fiery furnace unless they fell down in adoration before his idol.
“If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us! But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you set up” (Dn 3:16-18).
The three men showed total submission to God’s will.
Christian workplace standard
As your business or organization works through the recovery and any lingering effects of the economic downturn, how closely you stick to God’s way of doing business says a great deal about your priorities. And submitting to His will is hard.
Perhaps you’re facing the embarrassment of having your entire organization take an across-the-board pay cut. Of course, you may decrease payroll by eliminating positions and forcing people into unemployment. By earthly standards, reducing head count is often the fastest and least painful way to drop expenses and approach the break-even point.
To step out in faith, you will be subject to God’s ways over our your own. He may want you to steer through the turbulence and ride out the downturn, depending entirely upon His gifts of wisdom, guidance and grace.
It could be much easier to jump to another organization, and leave the difficult decisions to others. Such a move would be perfectly acceptable by many earthly standards, yet it might dodge God’s will and purpose.
The kingdom standard for everything is first to check with God at regular intervals, removed from technology and interruption. For many executives and business owners, this is the first and most important meeting of the day. In fact, we show God’s priority in our lives by where we place our time in prayer.
When we love someone deeply, we find ways to make time for that person. God wants to be the first in line with all of us. It isn’t the easy thing to do, nor is it the most logical for people with constant time pressures and responsibilities to others. Prayer often goes by the wayside.
A business and a life are, in a sense, the sum total of the quality of the choices made within an organization or throughout a person’s life. Decisions we make in an economic recovery reflect our priorities, and whether we put worldly idols — such as money, fame and pride — ahead of God our Creator.