The verses in this chapter can be applied in a variety of ways. But verse 18 brought an interesting application to mind. How can we as believers incorporate faith within our secular businesses? In an increasingly secular society there is relentless pressure to keep these concepts separate. And as employees in “other people’s businesses” this pressure is even more intense. There is also the temptation to utilize the Lord’s great name solely for the purpose of gaining business and good sentiment. Both the isolation of faith from our work and the patronizing of faith for business gain are dangers to be avoided. Enter verse 18:
The wicked [person] earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.
As employees our work is about giving to our employer the “righteous fruit” of our faith (Galatians 5:22-26) applied in the mundane day to day work load. As business owners that same “fruit expression” applies. And to those business owners who are building Christian construction companies, coffee shops, medical practices, roofing companies et. al., and are publicly naming the name of Christ (or using representative symbols) and receiving the protection and good sentiment that His name gives, we need to examine our motives. Using His name to “get business” can be construed as “deceptive”. Using His name because it expresses who we are and what we want the expression of our business to be in both practice and witness can be construed as “righteous”. As we “go public” with our faith though, remember the words of Peter in 1 Peter 4:12-19.