I’ve had Take Back Your Temple online since 2006 and have received a few emails over the years, asking why we charge for our books and programs.
This raises the larger question of “Can a Christian Do Business?”
In some Christian circles, the unspoken belief is that a Christian should not be in business – that somehow it is unethical to do so.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Many Christian business people are portrayed in the Bible, from the apostle Paul, who made his living as a tent-maker (see Acts 18:1-3) to Lydia, a woman who worshiped God and was a seller of purple (see Acts 16:14).
Even the famous Proverb 31 woman was a businesswoman (see Proverbs 31:16-18)!
As Christian business owners, our ultimate accountability is to the Lord. We know that Lord would be displeased if our intent was to deceive people.
However, if our desire is to serve our fellow man through offering excellent products and services and charging a fair price for them, then I believe the Lord is pleased.
I base my belief upon 4 scriptures:
- “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go (Isaiah 48:17).”
- “Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant (Psalm 35:27).”
- “For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about? Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things (1 Corinthians 9:9-11)?
- “For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages (1 Timothy 5:18).”
As Christian business leaders, I believe it is our responsibility as Believers to conduct our business affairs with excellence.
That means keeping accounts on how well the business is doing, plus ensuring that people know about what we offer.
Marketing is important; if you believe that your product or service helps people, then it is your responsibility to reach as many people as possible to communicate the value your product/service can provide for them.
Then they can make an informed decision about whether your business is a good fit for their needs.
- Those for whom your product/service is intended will see the value and want that value for themselves.
- Those who do not see the value will move on.
I believe the best possible position for a Christian business owner is to know that the value they provide is worth more than any money your customer invests in your product or service.
Therefore, you should not feel guilty about charging for it.
I’ve learned this: People will pay money where they see value. That is why you have people paying over $100 for a pair of Nike shoes or over $1,000 for the newest iPhone.
Logically, that makes no sense because you can pay a lot less for shoes to cover your feet or for a phone with which to communicate.
But those manufacturers have told their story in such a way that their customers see value in owning their products and thus, are willing to pay for them.
And I am confident that these companies have some Christians as customers!
When a Christian does business in an excellent fashion and receive compensation for their product/service, they can:
- Pay Tithes to their church
- Provide for their families
- Give to charitable causes they care about
- Pay taxes that help support societal infrastructure
- Support the businesses of other suppliers and vendors
- Create jobs that help others make a living and provide for their needs
All of these things are honorable. A Christian should never sabotage themselves because they feel guilty about earning money in business.
That is a trick of the enemy to try to keep Christians poor.
While it is true Jesus said that the poor will be with you always, that does not mean that you have to be one.
You owe it to yourself to get as many customers as you can because that means you are maximizing the number of people that your product/service benefits.
Here is how a Christian should do business:
- Be excellent
- Be diligent
- Charge the price the market bears
- Treat your customers the way you want to be treated
- Be truthful
- Work with all your heart, knowing that God is watching
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
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Don’t worry about what so-called Christians think about you. Most are lukewarm in their faith at best. I have been freelancing and doing business around the world for 15 years now. I think Christians ought to rather question why they would be employed by unbelievers who don’t care about or maybe even hate Christians. I would tell everyone to try to be self-employed if you can. Take baby steps or just leap right in. All that you do, do it for God’s glory. Peace from China!
Thank you for your comment, Nick. In the end God’s word says, ”So then each of us shall give account of himself to God (Romans 14:12).” In the end, the Lord will judge how we conduct ourselves and our businesses, so let’s strive to do both in excellence!
Oh, and let me ad one further comment, please. If we, as Christians, don’t sell our Christian merchandise to our fellow Christians, trust me, the secular world is already moving in on you. There are money hungry, greedy secular businesses out there right now trying to figure out how to market to the “Faith” based community. ONLY buy from a company if you KNOW the product was made or designed by a fellow brother and sister in Christ. Thank you for this article! Very inspirational and hopeful! Peace and Love to you guys! -Tina from Wetfleece
https://www.zazzle.com/wetfleece I have started a Christian Site on Zazzle – the store is called Wet Fleece. Please check it out! I am a strong follower of Christ and also believe it is ok for Christians to sell their goods. Apostle Paul said something to the effect “those that dont work, dont eat” and there is another verse in the Bible that says Christians need to work so we are able to help the less fortunate. Regardless, all Christians work, whether they sell their own goods or work for “the man” – All Christians work, so if any Christian has a problem with their fellow brother or sister selling Faith based items, I believe that is wrong. Most of us work for a secular institution, supporting and promoting that secular institution. Even Zazzle is secular but I’m helping to fight back by promoting Jesus Christ. Zazzle was even using a promo code that read xmas in it and I asked them to remove it and told them that Jesus should never be Xd out of anything. Guess what? They changed the code. As Christians, we ALL need to be out there promoting Jesus in one way shape or form. I choose to promote Jesus threw my artwork. God, I believe, has provided me with a gift and I’m going to use it to help my fellow brothers and sisters. The money I make, if and when I do, will go to keep our lights on and to our ministry – radioministry.org that helps get the Word of God out to countries overseas in which fellow brothers and sisters are being heavily persecuted for their Faith in Jesus Christ. Peace and Love to all of you. Stay Strong and Keep on!
Very well said. I am a Christian and have a home based business. uunderstand whole heartedly.
Wonderful, Lou Ann. We need more Christians in the marketplace, setting the standard for ethical business practices!
may our Lord shower you with HIS blessings, Kim!
Thank you Rita – I receive that!