Character in the Marketplace

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Shortly after I launched the Biblical Principles podcast, I gathered some feedback from family and friends. While the feedback was positive, some asked for clarification as to the focus of the podcast. One of the things I emphasized was that the podcast was not one on how to build a business.

Rather, the podcast focuses more on Biblical principles that help and encourage people to be better marketplace missionaries. This podcast, therefore, is for those who believe that the Bible is God’s inspired Word, who happen to work in the marketplace.

This podcast is for any business professional who wants to affect change in the marketplace. It is for the CEO who loves Jesus and, because of his or her influence, wants to make an impact. It is for the salesperson who comes in contact with prospects, clients and co-workers on a regular basis. It is for the solopreneur who owns a small business and wants to reach out to her customers. It is for the customer service representative, the janitor, the IT expert.

These podcasts and blogs are written for the employer, the employee, and the self-employed. It is for anyone in the marketplace who comes in contact with other human beings, whether they are clients, customers, co-workers, employees, managers, bosses, and CEOs.

In an earlier podcast series I called “Making God Known in the Marketplace,” I looked at the Apostle Paul, who used the marketplace in Athens, where he met many people with whom he could reason and spread the Good News. The marketplace, therefore, since it involves so many souls, and because the workplace is where so many people spend much time, is one of the primary areas where we can make a difference.

A Focus on Character

This podcast/blog does not focus specifically on how to build a business, even though many of the concepts may be there. This resource examines the character, teachings and approach one can apply in the workplace. We then examine particular principles and examples found in the Bible, hence the title, “Biblical Principles for Business Professionals.”

This podcast/blog examines particular qualities to cultivate as taught and modeled in Scripture — examples found in Jesus, the kings, prophets, and patriarchs. Examples found in the writings of the Apostles and poets.

A focus should first be on what you are, as opposed to what you do. We strive to be more of what God wants us to be. What we are will ultimately dictate what we will do. In other words, the deeds — or the Fruit — will come as a result of what we are.

Regarding character, we must also understand that character is different than reputation. There is a definite, distinct difference! John Wooden, who won ten NCAA basketball championships when coaching UCLA, said concerning the two, “Your reputation is who people think you are, your character is who you really are.”

Romans 5:4 teaches us that perseverance produces character. When writing to the Corinthians, Paul says, Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.” In the original language of the New Testament, the word used for character in these two verses means “approved.” More specifically, it means “tested and true.”

Too many people in the marketplace are concerned only with reputation. We should be more concerned with character. Moreover, if you have good character, it will be shown in your reputation.

Therefore, we are concerned with the heart — what we truly are. As we become more like Christ, the actions follow naturally. Work on your faith, character, heart. Work on your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The good works in your life — including good works in the marketplace — will follow!

Qualities to Cultivate

True believers look at Scripture to examine the different qualities found in Scripture — qualities worth cultivating. Some of these qualities are love, patience, kindness, worthiness, holiness; the list goes on and on.

When you cultivate such qualities, it equips you as a marketplace missionary. It makes you a better employee, boss, manager, salesperson, CEO, janitor, consultant, technician. As you cultivate those qualities, witnessing in the marketplace becomes more natural.

Approach

Another purpose of this podcast/blog is to provide practical ways in which we can affect change in the workplace by way of approach. I want to provide specific ways in which we can impact others.

This is why I have asked my listeners at the end of each podcast to share with us some specifics as to what you are doing in the marketplace; to share something that may help others to impact their world for Christ as well.

Today’s Takeaway: Proverbs 28:6 says, “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than the crooked who is rich.” Character is what we are; it defines us. Abraham Lincoln said, “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” Focus on character and eventually others will see a shadow of good reputation. This will make you a more effective marketplace missionary.

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