The Glory of God at Work
Updated: Feb 27, 2022
"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
(1 Cor 10:31).
From 1643 to 1652, the "Assembly of Divines" held meetings in Westminster Abby to reform the Church of England. Their efforts resulted in several documents, including the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Today, the catechism continues to serve as a doctrinal standard among Reformed churches. The very first question asked in the catechism is this: "What is the chief end of man?" In other words, what is man's primary purpose? The answer is a simple one. "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever."
But perhaps the answer isn't as simple as it sounds. What do we mean when we talk about glorifying God? Undoubtedly, you've heard what the scriptures say, telling us to glorify God in all that we do (1 Corinthians 10:31). But how do we apply that command to our leadership?
God's Glory in Others: There's a direct relationship between our ability to glorify God and our being created in His image. Simply put, we glorify God when we reflect His image. Or, said another way, we glorify God when we reflect the character of Christ since Christ is the exact image of God. This truth places us in a unique position as leaders. Surely, we must work to reflect the character of Christ in our lives. But isn't it our responsibility as leaders to help others do the same? Don't we believe that one's fulfillment in life is contingent upon their glorifying the One who created them? And don't we want people to experience fulfillment in their lives? Isn't this why we lead people? Isn't leadership about helping people fulfill their purpose? Answering these questions in the affirmative is fundamental to what Christian business leadership is about. Christian leaders want people to experience fulfillment in their lives, and they know that people's fulfillment is based upon their ability to reflect the character of Christ.
God's Glory in You: As Christian leaders, we must live our lives in ways that glorify God. God's command is sufficient reason for this, but we must also consider a leader's influence on the culture they lead within. Organizations tend to take on the character of their leadership. It's normal for managers and employees to look up to their leaders and model their behavior after them. Therefore, the character of the top leader has a trickle-down effect in the organization, affecting everyone's behavior in ways that hint at the character of the CEO or owner. If Christian leaders want to create a God-glorifying culture, they must start with the person in the mirror. Christian leaders must commit to developing their Christ-like character, so they can say with the Apostle Paul, "Imitate me as I also imitate Christ."
The Glory of God at Work: Not only is it important for you to work at glorifying God in your life, but it's also important for you to encourage others to do the same. As a Christian leader, you must work for God's glory in the world. Much of that work takes place in the company where you lead. The desire to glorify God in and through the company should underlie all your efforts in the workplace. The only way to do that is to recognize and value the dignity of the people you work with. They are more than just "human resources." They are people, created in God's image. And it's your responsibility to acknowledge that reality and give them the chance to flourish through their work.