10 Commandments for business

These 10 commandments for business are guiding principles that help you as a Christian Entrepreneur build a successful business that aligns with God’s commandment.

  1. Thou shall not serve any other before your customers
  2. Thou shall not make value proposition in vain
  3. Thou shall keep the rules and regulations of the land
  4. Thou shalt honour thy investors!
  5. Thou shall not kill their competitors
  6. Thou shall not double-cross their business partners/co-founders
  7. Thou shall not steal!
  8. Thou shall not lie!
  9. Thou shalt not lust after thy competitor’s employees!
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy competitor’s properties!

Let’s explain further below;

1. Thou shall serve no other before their customers!  

Just as the first commandment God gave Moses in mount Sinai, “I am the Lord thy God! Thou shall have no other gods but me!” (Exodus 20:3)

In the same vein, you do hear people say “Customer is King”, truly they are in your business kingdom. Because they are the number one reason for starting any business.

Therefore, customers are your top priority before anything else. 

In the same vein, the reason we love God above every other thing is that He is our creator. He brought us to life “No God no man” similarly “no customer no business”.

So when we approach our business with this kind of mindset, we would always ensure our customers are happy. They’re also the reason your business exists the first place.

“  You do hear people say “Customer is King”, truly they are in your business kingdom.  ”

2. Thou shall not make a value proposition in vain! 

I understand in the quest to get your customer’s attention you come up with an exciting value proposition or a unique selling point.

However, be careful not to make juicy promises your business doesn’t have the resources or capacity to fulfil. 

One example of a vain value proposition is,  “We deliver to your doorstep within 1 hour.” Whereas in reality, the average time your business can deliver is 4 hours.

According to this article, ‘Some businesses display amazing creativity in camouflaging deceit when they advertise their products’. 

As Christian entrepreneurs. we need to be truthful in our dealings; 1 John 18 says, “.. let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth”.

So should be assured in Proverbs that;

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity”.

Proverbs 11:3
3. Thou shall keep the rules and regulations!  
10 commandments rules
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As a Christian business owner, you should be willing to pay your taxes as and when due as it is written in the scriptures; 

“Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honour to those who are in authority”,

Romans 13:7

Oh yes! you can find ways to reduce your taxes by all means as long it is within the acceptable legal framework.

Let’s be honest, sometimes the taxes could be overbearing on our business especially when the tax governing body has an unfavourable rate that digs a hole in our pocket.

Nevertheless, we should always learn from the master Jesus, even when it wasn’t appropriate for Him to pay the temple tax, He paid to maintain the peace, Jesus said; 

But we don’t want to cause trouble. So go cast a line into the lake and pull out the first fish you hook. Open its mouth, and you will find a coin. Use it to pay your taxes and mine.”

Matthew 17:27
4. Thou shall honour thy investors!  

Investors are those who have entrusted their money in your business in the hope the business becomes successful to get back their returns.

Therefore, you cannot take their money and squander it as you wish. You also cannot discredit your investors after spending their money. 

That’s why it’s important you conduct proper due diligence before taking any investor’s money.

Advisably, you should build a good relationship with your investors because they may open doors for other opportunities and investments when you need it.

5. Thou shall not kill their competitors!  

You shouldn’t go all the way to kill your competitors through unhealthy competition. As the book of Philippians clearly states;

“Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others”. 

Philippians 2:3-4 

That is to say, If your competitor’s business collapse, let it be, it has nothing to do with you but their strategy which failed them.

6. Thou shall not double-cross their business partners/co-founders!  

I have heard of several cases of businesses with 2 or more business partners or co-founders where one of the partners secretly take money meant for business to their private business without the consent of the other partners/co-founders.

Another case was where one of the partners went on to negotiate behind the other partners to divert a deal to himself.

Some people applaud such behaviour as ‘being smart’ —that’s cheating, an unacceptable behaviour as a Christian entrepreneur.

“God hates cheating in the marketplace; he loves it when business is aboveboard.”

Proverbs 11:1(MSG)
7. Thou shall not steal!   
Photo of monkey holding something
Photo by Maksym Ivashchenko on Unsplash

This is quoted verbatim from Exodus 20:15 —Thou shall not steal. Stealing is stealing. But people try to justify some stealing in business when they cannot be legally prosecuted.

For example, in the start-up ecosystem, I have heard stories of founders stealing ideas, especially a ‘groundbreaking’ idea. 

Although people say ideas are worth nothing, I agree to a certain degree, because the real worth comes when the idea is brought to life(execution) but there are exceptions.

Some ideas have taken considerable resources, research, and time to put together, especially when it is considered a novelty and well documented. 

Nevertheless, it is a condemnable act to take anything that isn’t yours without the consent of the owner

8. Thou shall not lie!  

First, you shouldn’t lie to your customers to charge higher than the real value of the product or service.

Second, you shouldn’t lie to your employees to avoid paying them their due benefits. 

Third, you shouldn’t lie to your investors by fabricating non-existent traction of your business.

Fourth, you shouldn’t lie to the regulatory body, by declaring false profit/loss to avoid taxation and so on. 

In short, there are so many lies some entrepreneurs tell that they lose track of what the truth really is. So the Bible says; 

“Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.”

Proverbs 12:22

Do you not know that when you continually lie to run your business, you are inviting the devil to take hold of your business? Just as Jesus tells us that the devil is “a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

As a follower of Christ, you have the capability to be truthful in all you do as Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6.

9. Thou shall not lust after thy competitor’s employees!  

‘Poaching’ has become the new norm especially for big businesses —they enticed key employees from their competitors to join them.

While it is totally okay to hire employees from your competitor’s company but that should be in a scenario where they made the application on their own accord.

So, I know some people would say, “there is nothing bad as long you didn’t force the employee to join your company”. After all, it’s a game of the fittest.

First, as Christian, we don’t conform to the pattern of this world (Roman 12:2) and secondly, the Golden rule which says;

“Do to others as you would have them do to you”

Luke 6:31

As a Christian, one principle to help you determine whether your action is right or wrong is the golden rule, when you can graciously accept the result if you are on the flip side then you can go ahead with it.

10. Thou shall not covet thy competitor’s properties!  

This number 10 commandment is similar to the 7th and 9th. The word ‘covet’ here means to crave for something that is not rightfully yours.

Apparently, some entrepreneurs go as far as to covet the intellectual property of their competitors. 

So I believe, covetousness is the root cause of most of the business battles going on in the world as rightly said in the book of James;

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill.

You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight”.

James 4:1-2

Takeaway: As humans, we’re not perfect all the time, that’s why I don’t expect you to keep these 10 commandments by yourself. Therefore, you need the help of the Holy Spirit to direct you in all your ways.

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