Walton Padelford has written a very interesting book, one that is helping me to think through how I live my faith in the classroom. As you know I teach business at Warner Pacific College in Portland, OR. I have been asked by several professors how I demonstrate my faith in the classroom while teaching business, this question can also be applied to the workplace too. Padelford had some very interesting comments in his book about this very subject.
Padelford states, “Business, then, is our place of spiritual warfare and living the Christ-life.” I agree with this statement. As a Christian I am challenged daily to take the high or low road. Am I going to be ethical, loving, or am I going to lie, cheat and steal? The choice is mine. Am I going to live a life that demonstrates the high calling that Christ has on my life, or will I choose to be less than all I can be?
“God’s grace and love gives the disciple a certain business-ethical orientation.” Or at least it should. I remember a few years ago that I would not do business with someone who had a fish sign on their business card. My experience was that these individuals were less that ethical. Kind of sad actually.
Padelford states in another section of his book, “Jesus Christ gives us the world as the sphere of reality in which to operate. Our vocational responsibility is a limited one, but in the decision-making required of us the life of Christ becomes a reality in us.” I thought about this specific statement in church this morning. It got me to think how my motto fits with scripture. For example, how does Humility, Service and Professional Will fit within the Sermon on the Mount? I found out quite well.
In Matthew 5:3-6 we see that the blessed are poor in spirit, mournful, meek, and hungry for righteousness. This blessed person is someone that recognizes their place in relationship with God. They know that in themselves they are lost, but in God they are blessed. This seems to me to be quite humble. In Matthew 5:7-9 we see that blessed people are those who are merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers. These individuals have a servant’s heart. They truly want to serve humankind for its betterment. The last characteristic of professional will is observed in verses 10-11. Professional will involves the willingness to follow through and finish well, or complete the task no matter ow difficult. In the Sermon on the Mount we learn that blessed individuals are those who have endured persecution and have hung in there with Christ. They hold on no matter the cost.
So there it is, when we talk about how can anyone be a Christian and teach business, or be a business person, there is no doubt that humility, service, and professional will can be characteristics of one following Christ. So I can be a Christian and a businessman too. No conflict.
And that is my thought for the day!