Jon Houdyschell | what is Business?

Let’s first explore first some of the popular definitions of business that have molded the culture of business practitioners across the world. The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English gives an illusionary definition that had deluded many. It says business is “The activity of making money by producing or buying and selling goods or providing services.” The WordWeb Dictionary defines business as “The activity of providing goods and services involving financial and commercial and industrial aspects.”

Human beings are creatures of emotion. Man is driven by his believes and values ingrained in his heart, even though he may sometime not be aware of it. They believe that business is about making money by providing products and/or services is that had been the driving force behind the passion of many business people, which have alienated mankind from the purpose for which God created a business. Sadly, this is the bane of many business practitioners. The fruit or product of this kind of worldview is self-conceited and self-serving business people.

If you agree that God is the creator of the earth and the rest of the universe; then you’d also agree that He is solely responsible for the rules that govern the universe! One distinguishing character of God is that He is an intentional God. He created everything (including business) on and for a purpose. In this article, I’ll be spotlighting God’s definition of business. The surest clue to understanding this is in discerning the purpose of why He created a business. In this follow up article, I’ll explore what business is truly all about.

The starting point to this puzzle is to go to the very beginning; where God established His purpose of business enshrined in his cardinal purpose for man. The purpose of business is divine in nature: business exists to fulfill the Creation Mandate in Genesis 1:28,

“God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it! Rule over… ”

The cardinal purpose of man is to rule God’s physical universe – known as the creation mandate. Given the Creation Mandate as the prime mandate of man, then everything relating to the life of man must find its purpose in this mandate. Therefore the business is a tool to enable man to rule. If the purpose of man is to rule God’s physical creation, then all human activity must relate to man’s responsibility to rule. Therefore work is, and must be, a means to rule.

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