29 Dec #101 – Integriosity – Restore – God Glorified
ESSENCE: One bigger WHY of work and business is the “SO THAT” that gives the biggest WHY to every other WHY. RESTORE is the fourth and final step in the path of Integriosity.® It is about seeing the bigger WHY’s of work and business materialize and manifest in an organization that has been RE-IMAGINED and RE-ALIGNED with Biblical beliefs, values and priorities based upon a RENEWED understanding of God’s purpose for work and business. Although we describe three bigger WHY’s–Humanize People, Beautify the World and Glorify God–it all points to Glorify God. That is the “fruit of the fruit” or the ultimate WHY. We believe it is a desire hard-wired into every human, with work being critical to our humanity because it is one of the most important vehicles for humans to live out Imago Dei, the Creation Mandate and the commandments to love God and love one another. Deriving purpose from its people, an organization Glorifies God principally through lovingly and generously serving people, stewarding creation and creating a culture of Shalom that maximizes flourishing.
Our last five posts have looked at how faithfully “doing right” through business a better way RESTORES, including in our two most recent posts how it Humanizes people and Beautifies the world. But the most important fruit of faithfully “doing right” through business a better way is that it results in an organization and its people Glorifying God. In fact, we believe that really is the “fruit of the fruit”!
RESTORE: The Ultimate Bigger WHY–Glorify
Some things in God’s word are complicated and others are straightforward. Perhaps one of the most straightforward is our ultimate WHY:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
In fact, Isaiah 43:7 makes clear that glorifying God is WHY we were created (“everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made“). Oswald Chambers warns that we must never forget our purpose:
The entire human race was created to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. . . . Beware lest you forget God’s purpose for your life.
That simple and paramount truth is something that Biblical faiths have recognized for ages:
The very first question of the Westminster Longer Catechism asks “What is the chief and highest end of man?“, and the answer is “Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.“
The Catholic Catechism states “Scripture and Tradition never cease to teach and celebrate this fundamental truth: “The world was made for the glory of God.”
Although we describe three bigger WHY’s–Humanize People, Beautify the World and Glorify God–it all points to Glorify God. That is the “fruit of the fruit” or the ultimate WHY. We believe it is a desire hard-wired into every human.
As we have emphasized in several prior posts, the purpose of an organization is derived from the purpose of its people. We love what marketing guru Seth Godin says about businesses (which we believe holds generally for organizations): “A business is a construct, an association of human beings . . . . That business has precisely the same social responsibilities as the people that it consists of.” If people are called to glorify God in all they do, then organizations must exist to do the same.
The entire human race was created to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. . . . Beware lest you forget God’s purpose for your life. (Oswald Chambers)
RESTORE: How Integriosity Glorifies God
Because work is a key way we are meant to reflect God’s image in the world and organizations are merely groups of people working together, work and organizations CAN Glorify God in what they do and how they do it, if it is done in alignment with Biblical principles and priorities, including the pursuit of flourishing. As you have hopefully surmised from many prior posts, we believe that humans Glorify their creator God through work (1) by being, and helping others to be, all that God created them to be–fully human through living out Imago Dei as reflections of a creative, productive and relational God, (2) by obediently pursuing the Creation Mandate–pursuing the flourishing of God’s creation and (3) by using their gifts to love their neighbor generously through service. In other words, Humanizing people and Beautifying the world. When we reflect the image of God by exercising our God-given gifts through work to serve one another, we are also living out the commandments to love God and love one another. Work is a VEHICLE for living out those commandments.
Deriving purpose from its people, an organization Glorifies God principally through lovingly and generously serving people and stewarding all creation: (1) providing opportunities for individuals to be more fully human by expressing aspects of their God-given identities in creative and meaningful work, (2) providing opportunities, goods and services, on a sustainable basis, that enable families, communities and the world to flourish, and (3) creating a culture of Shalom built on Biblical principles of relationships, community and human dignity that is conducive to the flourishing of all people it touches. In other words, Humanizing people and Beautifying the world. It is the WHY of business.
- The “End” and Not a “Means”. Glorifying God through obedience to His Word and his commands can’t be a means to an end–it must be the end in itself. When faith/work integration is adopted as a means to any end other than Glorifying God, it will be sustained only so long as the desired end is achieved or is in sight. For example, as we pointed out in post #046 (Lessons from Creation-Why We Are Here), if our goal in faithfully “doing right” by Glorifying God is really a strategy to change the culture or gain authority, we will fail at all of it. We will fail because we are pursuing a “second thing” rather than a “first thing“, and we will end up with neither one. There are also no guarantees that pursuing a bigger WHY for a business will lead to greater financial success.
- The Only “End”. An organization can Glorify God by maximizing human flourishing or it can maximize profit, but it can’t serve both those masters.
It is time to begin executing “business a better way” in alignment with Biblical beliefs, values and priorities–it is time to begin RESTORING by faithfully “doing right” through Integriosity.®
SPOILER ALERT: In our next post, we will look back over two years of Integriosity posts.
PERSONAL NOTE (from PM): I remember the first time I really thought about Glorifying God as the WHY behind all we do–it was September 30, 2010, in New York City. I was attending the very first Movement Day. The quality and wisdom of the speakers was off the charts: Tim Keller, Bob Varney, Dr. Ray Bakke, Brenda Salter McNeil, Matt Bennett, Bill Hybels, Andy Mills and others. Movement Day grew and grew until it went global, took over the Javits Center in Manhattan (a REALLY big venue) in 2016 and then spread even further (26 different Movement Days around the world in 2019).
Several things I heard that day were so impactful that I have repeated them in talks ever since. But the Glorify God message that stayed with me was from a talk by Bill Hybels. He referenced the prayer of Hezekiah in 2 Kings 19:19:
Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, SO THAT all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.
It was not about Hezekiah’s people being saved–it was about Glorifying God. When we are pursuing something or praying for something, we need to add “SO THAT” at the end. If the immediate iteration of the SO THAT exercise is still removed from Glorifying God, then we need to ask SO THAT again and again until we can get to our ultimate purpose. Thank you Bill Hybels.