Their influence and presence are almost everywhere. The tall skyscrapers and modern buildings that make up the infrastructure of our cities, and define the very nature of various metropolitan areas, are symbols of their power. Those who live and work in large cities are more likely to work for one of them. These are the corporations that determine the financial landscape all around us. Corporations have largely taken over the globe in many ways, reaching into even small countries and remote locations.
The rise of the modern corporation in the wake of the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries has revolutionized our society. It has changed the way we live and think. The culture and environment within these corporations are what is known as the corporate world, and for those unfamiliar, it can be an alien way of existence. For Christ-followers, working in the corporate world can be a double-edge sword. Although appearing to be the model of success, the greed and capitalism that drive the corporate world can create a moral dilemma.
There exists all too often in the corporate world a scenario of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, the hands being various employees. Although there is no denying that we live in a capitalist economy, this has been both a blessing and a curse in many ways. Capitalism with it’s focus on money, profits and revenue drives our very economy, but America is now paying the price. The globalization of the modern corporation carries with it an agenda that goes far beyond what many are aware of. So where does God fit into all of this, if at all?
Since ancient times in the garden of Eden, man has been working (Genesis 2:15). After the fall into sin, God told Adam and Eve that the very ‘ground is cursed for your sake’ (Genesis 3:17). Satan, the devil, is the prince of this world, and we are told not to love the world or the things in the world (1 John 2:15-17). The world, as defined in the original Greek language of the New Testament, does not refer to the physical creation, but to the sphere of evil operating under the influence of the evil one (1 John 5:19). Still, we are told that work itself is good, and that we should work as to the Lord and not man (Colossians 3:23,24).
The birth of the so-called ‘American dream’ at the end of World War 2 gave birth to our modern idea of being successful. It’s too easy for believers to get distracted and even deceived by working in the corporate world, just as it is for them to get sucked into climbing the proverbial corporate ladder. A Christian being promoted to a high position within certain companies can pose ethical and spiritual issues. After all, what would a man profit by gaining the whole world, yet losing his very soul? (Mark 8:36). Believers should always guard their hearts, and seek God’s will regarding their jobs, and all other areas of life.