By Lane A. Kramer
If I were to ask you who your boss is what would you say? You might say well I report to the CEO or the Owner of the Company. Another might say, I AM the CEO, I don’t have a boss! Others still might say I report to my Board of Directors or my customers are my bosses.
From a functional or temporal viewpoint, those answers may be very valid. Most of us serve under some sort of temporal authority. However, I would submit to you if you are a Christian Business Executive that your REAL Boss is The Lord Jesus Christ. In truth HE owns your business and He has equipped you and appointed you to be an executive in the business where you serve.
Understanding who your true boss is will be very critical to the decisions you will make at work. Sometimes your temporal boss might ask you to do something that is in obvious conflict with the commandments of your Heavenly Boss. When that happens, who are you going to obey? You are appointed by God but still under the temporal authority of your human boss.
So what will you tell your business boss if he or she asks you to do something you know is unethical, immoral, illegal or in conflict with the stated values of your company? The world is full of companies where even Christian business executives just bow down and do what they are told. When this happens they are proving that they fear man more than they fear God.
What about the situations where you believe your Company should make a particular decision. For example, you believe your Company needs to make a certain acquisition. You have run the numbers backwards and forwards and In fact you have even stopped to pray about that decision. You then recommend the GO decision to your temporal boss. Subsequently, He or she says “no we don’t want to do that.” What do you do or say then?
I might recommend that you go back to God, lift up the situation again and get a firm confirmation of what you think God is asking you to do. Then and only then go back to your boss and say, “Joe, I know we have had this discussion previously, but I have thought this through thoroughly and I also feel like God does want us to make this acquisition.” Then what do you do if your boss or board of directors still says, “No we don’t want to do this”?
At that point, you really have a difficult decision to make! If the decision is not a life or death situation, you may choose to abide by your bosses decision (submit to their authority as your temporal boss) even though you think it is wrong. In really critical decisions, however, you may decide that you can no longer work in a company that makes decisions based on mammon or greed.
There are no black and white answers here, but the operational question is still the same. Who is your REAL boss, and are you prepared to give up a big sale, or a prestigious and well paying job if you can not abide by your bosses’ final decision? There may be times when following God will result in a large earthly sacrifice. I suppose our decision will finally depend on whether we are looking short term or eternally. In essence, are we more concerned about hearing the applause of man or the applause of God? The who is your real boss may
question that we might want to decide before an actual dilemma comes up.
Let’s Talk About It:
- Have you had a recent decision where a decision that your boss made clashed with what you knew was the right thing or God honoring thing to do? Please describe?
- Why do we often fail to push back on a temporal authority in the business world when we know what they are demanding is the wrong thing to do?
- Have you seen God honor you for making the right decision even when there was a short term cost to you in doing so?
Authored By: Lane A. Kramer, Founder & President, The CEO Institute, a marketplace ministry based in Dallas, TX, www.ceoinst.com.