5 Essential Business Principles from the Bible

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The Bible is full of advice on how to handle money. Every business owner can (and should) build their business on these essential principles straight from the Word of God. As you read through these Bible verses and associated principles, ask yourself where you see room for improvement in your own business dealings.

Business Principles

1. Conduct your business with humility.

Be realistic about your human nature. Everyone makes mistakes, and I’d venture to guess you’ve made a few. Humility causes us to listen to our customers, to hear their concerns, and to address their problems. Having a large ego won’t get you anywhere and can cause your business to stumble.

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. – Proverbs 16:18 NIV

Does someone not like your product? Give them a refund. Show your customers that you want to make sure they’re getting value for their dollars. In several of my eBooks, I suggest that if the buyer dislikes the book that they send me an email requesting a refund. I want my work to be worth the cost. Don’t you?

2. Be diligent and avoid laziness.

If your job is draining you of your energy, and you can’t seem to work as you should, it might be time to change jobs. Find work that you can be passionate about. But in whatever you’re doing, be diligent. Laziness won’t bring in the money – customers pay for results.

Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. – Proverbs 10:4 NIV

Some practical ways to boost your energy include getting adequate rest to avoid exhaustion, exercising regularly, and eating foods as close to their natural, God-intended state as possible.

3. Be fair and don’t cheat in your business dealings.

Do not have two differing weights in your bag—one heavy, one light. – Deuteronomy 25:13 NIV

Standardized weights and measures were used in Biblical times to conduct business transactions. The Bible here is speaking out against cheating others in business dealings. Both parties – the buyer and the seller – should “be on the same page” regarding a transaction, each understanding exactly what they are to receive as a result of the deal. Selling a product or service? Thoroughly describe what it is that you’re selling. It’s also a good idea to “test” your description by having potential customers ask questions about the product or service before selling it to them. The less questions they have, the better job you’ve done at describing what it is you’re selling.

4. Gather little by little.

Television likes to tell the stories of people who encounter windfalls of cash: business ventures that are overnight successes, lottery tickets that bring in millions, and attic-retrieved antiques worth a decade’s worth of wages. These sudden windfalls probably won’t happen to you – the odds are very much against you. Instead, the Bible teaches to gather money little by little.

Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow. – Proverbs 13:11 NIV

There are honest circumstances under which one might earn a windfall, but the Bible tells us that our focus should be on earning money little by little.

5. Don’t be timid.

Be humble and bold at the same time. The Holy Spirit can give you power to run your business and self-discipline to manage your time.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. – 2nd Timothy 1:7 NIV

What is it that you’d love to do? In what areas of your business do you need more boldness? If you’re looking to improve your business and your life, make sure you stay rooted in the Word of God. The Bible has much more to say to those looking for help. Take these verses to heart, and seek the Lord. And if you only remember one piece of advice from this article, remember this:

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. – Matthew 7:12 NIV

What are some other Biblical business principles that you think should be practiced?

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Bob is the founder of Christian Personal Finance, a website helping people make more, save more, and give more away.

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1 Dave Lashbrook

Great article! My favorite part is the “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” At the most basic level, this applies to dealing with honesty and integrity, but goes even further. It isn’t just what you do, but how you do it.

I work in home finance. I have to remember that my customers are often scared, nervous, may have had bad experiences in the past, or maybe they are just not familiar with my field. If I make an effort to put myself in their place, I am more patient, kinder, and give them better service. If I put myself in their place, I can do this even if they are being unkind, or rude etc. It aligns my interests with theirs. Everyone loves having someone in their corner and that is really good for business.

2 Bob

So true Dave, great point!

3 Matt Heffner

Thanks for the quick reminder of these truths!

4 Steve Will

Completely agree with Dave on his comment, “Do unto others you would have them do unto you.” Keep up the good work!

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