I worked in business for over half my life. I understand business drivers like return on assets, competitiveness, profits, shareholder value, and customers. I worked long hours with the associated stresses to meet goals, assess risks, and remain compliant. I know both the terror of being on the wrong side of my boss and the happiness that comes from being a valued employee. There were days when I questioned why I was doing a difficult assignment, especially when arriving home late at night when the family was already in bed.
How does a person in business keep life in balance when the business worldview tries to claim your body, mind, and soul? Dr. Elden Wiebe (The King’s University) and Dr. Cathy Driscoll (Saint Mary’s University) in the book Faith & Work: Christian Perspectives, Research, and Insights Into the Movement (Edited by Timothy Ewest, Information Age Publishing Inc, Charlotte, NC, 2018, pages 28-29) write about balancing the business worldview:
“The Christian worldview is a powerful alternative and antidote to the dominant business- or organization-centered worldview …, which claims that business is at the center of society, and pursuing the interests of business will also result in meeting society’s interests. … The Christian worldview challenges this hierarchy and de-centers business, replacing it with love for God and neighbor.”
There were occasional days when my business demanded that I give 100%. The day started with early morning meetings and finished with late evening events. But I knew that these days were infrequent and would not dominate my Christian worldview. I was still grounded in my love of God, family, friends, and community. Business did not replace my faith. Wiebe and Driscoll continue:
“Staying true to the Christian worldview has meant fostering an ongoing (daily, hourly), profoundly intimate relationship with God. … There is no bifurcation between business and personal life, with a ‘bureaucratic ethic’ at work and a religious ethic elsewhere.”
My day starts with a devotional reading and prayer. Then I read the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal. My Christian worldview comes first. This centers me and helps me understand my priorities. When business tries to creep into my soul, I strive to ensure that it is too full of Christ to let business in. Business as a profession is not sinful and has many beneficial attributes within our community. It just needs to be placed under the Christian worldview. Balance and boundaries are important during our faith and work journey.