One of my personal goals for the coming year to do a much better job of studying, learning and incorporating Christian values and teachings into my business. That therefore begs the question, what does the Bible say about business? There are a number of authors like John Maxwell who teach on this very subject, and whom I am currently reading, but it seems fitting that we start this journey with some specific verses from the Bible. Here are 54 verses which speak directly about business, or can inspire you in your professional life.
Deuteronomy 8:18 NIV But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Romans 12:2 NIV Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I Thessalonians 5:16-19 NIV Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances; this is the will of God for your life.
Proverbs 16:18 NIV Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
II Corinthians 9:8 NIV And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
II Timothy 1:7 NIV For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
Hebrews 12:11 NIV No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
I Corinthians 9:24 NIV Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Mark 5:36 NIV Overhearing what they said, Jesus told them, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
Ecclesiastes 11:4 AMP He who observes the wind [and waits for all conditions to be favorable] will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.
Proverbs 11:14 NIRV Without the guidance of good leaders a nation falls. But many good advisers can save it.
Philippians 4:13 NKJV I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Leviticus 19:11 ESV You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.
Proverbs 19:17 ESV Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
Isaiah 1:17-19 ESV Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
Proverbs 22:1 ESV A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
Psalm 15:1-5 ESV A Psalm of David. O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.
Leviticus 25:39 ESV If your brother becomes poor beside you and sells himself to you, you shall not make him serve as a slave.
Mark 7:20-22 ESV And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.
Mark 8:36 ESV For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?
Leviticus 25:43 ESV You shall not rule over him ruthlessly but shall fear your God.
Colossians 3:23 ESV Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.
Deuteronomy 15:1-23 ESV At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the Lord’s release has been proclaimed. Of a foreigner you may exact it, but whatever of yours is with your brother your hand shall release. But there will be no poor among you; for the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess— if only you will strictly obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today.
Deuteronomy 11:1-32 ESV You shall therefore love the Lord your God and keep his charge, his statutes, his rules, and his commandments always. And consider today (since I am not speaking to your children who have not known or seen it), consider the discipline of the Lord your God, his greatness, his mighty hand and his outstretched arm, his signs and his deeds that he did in Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to all his land, and what he did to the army of Egypt, to their horses and to their chariots, how he made the water of the Red Sea flow over them as they pursued after you, and how the Lord has destroyed them to this day, and what he did to you in the wilderness, until you came to this place.
Leviticus 19:13 ESV You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning.
II Timothy 3:16 ESV All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
Colossians 3:17 ESV And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Leviticus 19:14 ESV You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.
Titus 2:9-12 ESV Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.
Matthew 24:1-51 ESV Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.
Deuteronomy 15:13-14 ESV And when you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty-handed. You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your winepress. As the Lord your God has blessed you, you shall give to him.
Numbers 23:19 ESV God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
Leviticus 23:22 ESV And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.
II Peter 1:3 ESV His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.
John 3:1-36 ESV Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Leviticus 19:10 ESV And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 24:1-22 ESV When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house, and if she goes and becomes another man’s wife, and the latter man hates her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife, then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the Lord. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance. “When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken.
Exodus 38:21 ESV These are the records of the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the testimony, as they were recorded at the commandment of Moses, the responsibility of the Levites under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.
Exodus 23:9 ESV You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.
Genesis 29:7 ESV He said, “Behold, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered together. Water the sheep and go, pasture them.”
Amos 2:6-8 ESV Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals— those who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth and turn aside the way of the afflicted; a man and his father go in to the same girl, so that my holy name is profaned; they lay themselves down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge, and in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined.
Isaiah 1:1-31 ESV The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
Deuteronomy 15:16 ESV But if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he is well-off with you.
Leviticus 19:1-37 ESV And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God. “When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted.
Genesis 31:6 ESV You know that I have served your father with all my strength
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.
Isaiah 43:19 GOD’S WORD® Translation Behold, I am doing something new! It’s already happening; don’t you recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land.
Philippians 4:6 NIV Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
James 2:26 KJV Faith without works is dead.
Joshua 1:9 NIV Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Proverbs 23:7 NKJV As I think in my heart, so am I.
Habakkuk 2:3 TLB But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day.
Proverbs 3:13 NIV Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.
John 16:33 NIV I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
I know that for many of these, it’s not immediately clear what exactly the verse means, or why they may apply to business. I will be exploring those in future posts, and would welcome your input and participation.
What do you think about the teachings in these verses? Are there other verses in the Bible that you think should be added to the list? Have you found passages that are perhaps inspiring in other ways, like making you a better writer or listener or communicator?
Perhaps even more importantly, how do you incorporate your Faith into your daily business and workplace? I will be writing and sharing more on that topic in the future, so please share any questions or concerns you have that I might help you address.
RECOMMENDED READING: Dangerous Playground: The Christian and Social Media