A generous and caring employer.
(Reflection based Matthew 20.1-16 Workers in the vineyard).

There is a wide variation in working condition around the world. Some people are working in slavery while at the opposite end of the spectrum people have good working condition where their employer protects their rights and cares for all their employees. It therefore may come as a surprise to some people that the parable of the workers in the Vineyard is about bringing more people to God, although there are lessons for employers and workers.

The employers action in taking on additional workers whose productivity could not possibly match the wages those who had being work from the begin of the day was an act of a generous and compassionate person, who had sympathy for the poor. Christians who are in business need to be mined full that serving God is a seven day a week activity and not just for church on Sunday. We should all seek to act in a way that is acceptable to God and in line with the teachings of our faith.   

Those of us who live in a prosperous country need to remember that there are still many places in the world where people struggle to earn a living without a social system that supports those who do not have a job. It is tragic that there are people in this world who are unemployed, their talents are wasted and some find themselves force to work for unscrupulous employers, fall victims of the slave trade, are force to beg or search rubbish tips to survive. It is therefore important that those living in prosperous countries ought to look at how we can support schemes that provide employment in poorer countries even if it is something as simple as buying a goat or chickens, through a charity working in these countries to help people support themselves.

Honesty and Corruption in Business.

Consumers rely on the companies they deal with to be honest in their dealings, sadly that is not always the case. There are well documented dishonesty actions in banking with senior directors taking large pay outs when they resign or are dismissed for not doing the job properly. There are also people whose trade practices are questionable; most people will have heard of rogue builders and people selling counterfeit or stolen goods.

This is not a new thing. In Amos 2:6 we read of people being sold into slavery. Amos says honest people who cannot pay their debts, the poor who cannot repay even the price of a pair of sandals where force to work as slaves. When we read of the people traffickers, loan sharks, people forced to work in salve condition by people who have tricked them out of their money. It appears the things Amos spoke about are still happening today

In Amos 8.4-7 he speaks of the needy being trample on. People being overcharged by unscrupulous traders who use false measures, and fix the scales to cheat their customers, selling worthless goods at a high prices. Sadly, there are many well documented examples of this in modern business practice.

We are taught that we should be honest in all our dealings with other people, not to steal or exploit the others. Therefore, it is important that all involved in business seek to apply these principles in all aspects of the business operations. 

Work and Business ethics

People have to work and trade to provide themselves and their families, with food, clothing, a home and their other needs. Today’s high tech world is very different to the world a century ago, although the basic work and business ethical issues are still very similar. The world is no longer a place where the majority of people grow their own food and make their own clothes, today the majority of people living in overcrowded towns and cities, where they need to earn money to provide the things they need for basic living.

In a responsible society people ought to be treated with respect, but for many people the work place can be a place of toil or a place that brings suffering and injustice. There are many well documented examples of people through-out the world working in slave-like conditions particularly in the developing world. Businesses have a key role in the creating a healthy economy, providing jobs and income, but not all companies treat their employee fairly and conduct their business in an honest way. There are many examples in the media that illustrate this point. 

In my view the basic ethics that ought to be applied to the sphere of work are; honesty, respect, integrity, caring for colleagues, employees and clients. For example; the banker and lawyer need to be trust worthy and give honest advice that does not exploit the customers. In the manufacture of goods the employer has to respect his employees, not forcing them to work for long hours in slave like conditions, while the employees have to do the work they are paid for and be honest.

David Rogers Ministries