When I started working in the former Soviet Union during the early 1990’s I was not surprised to find a negative view of business—it was, according to the newly freed people, corrupt, based on greed, degrading to mankind, cruel, etc. In fact, there wasn’t even a Russian word for businessman so they just used the English with a Russian accent. Profiteering (selling things at a profit) was illegal. Innovation was nonexistent. Entrepreneurs operated in the black market.
What is surprising and deeply concerning is that many Americans and media outlets seem to have similar opinions. Granted there are examples of all of these negative stereotypes (BP, Enron, WorldCom, to name a few). This bias is not limited to liberals and socialists. Many conservatives in the evangelical church also have suspicion of business and business practices.
So, let’s start by thinking about one core question: is business, in and of itself, legitimate and good or is it inherently evil? The answer is that business is a good thing from God and a part of his creation. Work and business existed before the fall when there was no corruption, no greed, and no selfishness. When man fell, his heart and nature became corrupt and he has acted corruptly ever since. As a result we now have broken families, broken communities, broken individuals and broken businesses. But business (like family, community, and individuals) is NOT the problem; man is.
View business as a legitimate and beneficial part of how God equipped the world and part of how he wants things to be and you’ll begin to think (and feel) very differently about your own business and career. See it able to function to the glory of God and your entire worldview will change.