Ethics in the Bible are the principles of doing right and wrong that exist within scripture. Scriptures in the Bible contain bible stories about ethics that should guide one’s actions. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Learn more from our list of Bible verses about ethics below.
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Bible Verses About Ethics In Business
The Bible is full of verses about ethics in business, covering topics such as honesty, integrity, respect and compassion. Sharing these verses can help employees bring an ethical approach to their day-to-day activities and inspire them to take a higher moral stand.
As a Christian, you want to make sure that you are running your business ethically. This is something God has placed on our hearts, and we need to strive to walk in His ways. Here are some Bible verses about ethics in business to help guide you on this journey.
Bible Verses About Business Practices
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV / 127 helpful votes
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV / 103 helpful votes
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Romans 13:8-10 ESV / 99 helpful votes
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 ESV / 86 helpful votes
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; …
Psalm 25:21 ESV / 85 helpful votes
May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.
Proverbs 11:1 ESV / 84 helpful votes
A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.
Matthew 7:12 ESV / 81 helpful votes
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
John 13:34-35 ESV / 65 helpful votes
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
James 1:12-15 ESV / 54 helpful votes
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Colossians 3:23 ESV / 54 helpful votes
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
Romans 6:1-23 ESV / 54 helpful votes
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. …
Business Ethics In Biblical Perspective
The foundation of a godly relationship between employees and employers is mutual respect.
To be an honest and fair employer is a biblical principle. All aspects of an employee’s employment, including the hours they are expected to work, the pay they receive, and the safety of the workplace, should be handled with integrity.
God in heaven is master of both the employee and the employer, Ephesians 6:9 states, “and there is no favoritism with him.”
The worker must be trustworthy and sincere in their efforts to fulfill (and hopefully exceed) their employer’s requirements. “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,” it says in Ephesians 6:7.
TheologyofWork.org likens the “masters” and “slaves” (NIV, ESV, CSB) or “servants” (KJV) that Paul wrote about in Ephesians 6:5-9 to “relationships where someone has authority over another person in the workplace.” David Guzik, in his EnduringWord.com commentary on this passage, discusses “how employees walk in the light [by] working as servants of Jesus” and “how employers walk in the light [by] treating workers well.”
Related Bible Verses on the Topic of Employer-Employee Relations
In vain do you watch the sun rise and set, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep (Psalm 127:2). Therefore, workers shouldn’t be overworked or expected to spend all their time at the office.
A man who is competent in his work, as stated in Proverbs 22:29, “will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.” Trained workers who contribute significantly to the company’s success deserve comparable compensation.
According to Exodus 31:3-5, workers were given the authority and training “to work in every craft.” It is the responsibility of the employer to know where to put a qualified worker. The employee’s chances of success and growth will be maximized thanks to this insight.
The Role of Religion in Business and Society
Organizations and Rivals
A business based on the Bible should treat its rivals with the utmost dignity and fairness. If you’re a businessperson, take a lesson from Proverbs 28:6: “Better [to be] a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.”
We are obligated to treat them lovingly because our relationship to them is analogous to that which exists between an individual and his or her neighbor (Galatians 5:14).
The Christian business owner shouldn’t view similar businesses as competition. Paul admonished the believers in Philippi to put aside their own desires and pride and serve others instead. Instead, put others’ needs before your own and act humbly, prioritizing the group over individual gain (Philippians 2:3-4).
Corporations and Towns
The successful Christian business owner asks, “Does my business contribute positively to the overall community?” in light of the company’s impact on both customers and the local community.
The moral proprietor will wisely manage the company’s funds. They should want to and feel obligated to be a dependable member of the community, supporting those who have supported the company so generously.
When asked what he had taught the believers, Paul replied, “In everything I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” This quote is found in Acts 20:35. The passage teaches that all Christians have a responsibility to provide aid to the poor.
Constructing a Biblical Partnership with Your Clientele
Without first taking care of the customer or consumer, there is no room in the Bible for “get rich quick” schemes. Instead, focus on giving the customer a satisfactory product or service.
Many business aphorisms can be found in the Book of Proverbs. Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice, as stated in Proverbs 15:16. The proverbial “wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it” applies here as well (Proverbs 13:11).
No matter a customer’s social standing, they deserve the same level of service. “render service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free,” Ephesians 6:7-8 says.
The relationship between a company and its workers can also be seen as an application of this principle. Business success should not depend on external factors like a person’s looks, social standing, or financial resources. Both Acts 10:34 and Romans 2:11–16 teach us that God does not show favoritism.
The boss should regularly pause and reflect on his business methods and goals.
If you work the land, you’ll have plenty of food, but if you pursue meaningless activities, you’ll be poor. To maximize profits, many businesses make the fatal mistake of trying to expand too rapidly, which often leads to their failure. However, there is a threshold of preparedness that must be reached before any profit can be made in business.
Slack farmers, according to Proverbs 20:4, “seek at harvest and have nothing” because they didn’t work during the fall. Like the planting and harvesting of crops, timing is crucial in business.
Ethical business practices and relationships are just two areas in which the Bible provides guidance and a godly framework.
Bible Verses About Business Success
Acts 2:38 ESV / 54 helpful votes
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Leviticus 19:18 ESV / 48 helpful votes
You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
Romans 2:1 ESV / 47 helpful votes
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.
Leviticus 19:13 ESV / 45 helpful votes
“You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning.
Romans 12:2 ESV / 44 helpful votes
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Proverbs 22:6 ESV / 44 helpful votes
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Luke 6:31 ESV / 43 helpful votes
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
Colossians 3:17 ESV / 42 helpful votes
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Luke 16:10 ESV / 39 helpful votes
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
Mark 12:28-31 ESV / 38 helpful votes
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Leviticus 19:11 ESV / 36 helpful votes
“You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.
Galatians 5:19-21 ESV / 34 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Five Biblical Business Ethics Principles
Putting Christian values on display in one’s personal and professional life is a test that can pay huge dividends if successfully completed. However, it is possible to live out your Christian faith while also excelling in the business world. The investor Warren Buffett would likely agree. According to the multibillionaire, honesty and doing the right thing are paramount to reaching one’s goals. As you forge your own way, be true to your principles and act toward your coworkers, clients, and even rivals as you would like to be treated yourself. And if you’re not sure how to incorporate your Christian principles into your professional life, the Bible will clear things up for you.
Always Speak the Truth in Business.
A poor person who lives his life honestly is preferable to a rich fool who lies constantly. Verse 1 of Proverbs 19
Sincerity should be the bedrock of your professional life, whether you’re just starting out or aiming for the corner office. It’s a simple way to bring your Christian beliefs into the workplace. It’s a good way to show others the way and keeps things steady at work. When people have faith in you, they are more likely to take you at your word and consider you for promotions, opportunities, and even friendships as your career develops.
Conducting oneself ethically in business
Therefore, you should do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Reference: Matthew 7:12
When we’re young, one of the first things we learn is the golden rule. It serves as a beacon for many people of different faiths. Likewise, it is a vital component of any successful enterprise. Companies with a good reputation for employee treatment tend to do well overall. Some of the largest and most prosperous businesses are also some of the most moral. AT&T, Aflac, Dell, Hanes, IBM, PepsiCo, Prudential, and Sony were all included in Ethisphere’s list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for 2021.
Maintain Honest Business Procedures
And if you buy something from your neighbor or sell something to them, you are not to take advantage of them. Verse 14 of Leviticus
Care for your employees as much as you can, but treat your competitors fairly as well. Though it’s not always convenient, it’s always in your best interest to do the right thing in business. This will boost your reputation and allow you to forge long-lasting connections with your clients. If one business views another as an enemy, that business will focus its efforts elsewhere and may waste millions of dollars in the court system rather than on strategy.
Pay Attention to Business Investments
Who among you, when contemplating the construction of a tower, doesn’t sit down and figure out how much it will cost? Otherwise, when he lays the groundwork but is unable to complete the structure, those who watch will begin to mock him, saying things like, “This man started to build but was unable to finish.” Luke 14:28
Businesses are in operation to generate a profit. Making a living, setting goals for yourself, and providing for your family are not incompatible with a Christian worldview. However, the Bible cautions us to exercise discretion in such matters. Create both short-term and long-term goals that will advance your professional standing and increase your company’s value. This includes picking reliable advisors, keeping expenses down, making prudent investments, and making long-term plans for yourself or your organization. The returns from a well-planned investment can help you and those around you.
To Good Causes, Please Donate
Here’s what I’m saying: whoever plants sparingly will also harvest stingily, and whoever plants abundantly will also harvest abundantly.
Because God favors a willing giver, everyone should act in accordance with his own good intentions, not out of resentment or obligation.
So that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you may have an abundance for every good deed, because God is able to make all grace abound to you. Two Corinthians 9:6
Businesses that invest in their employees and the community at large tend to succeed more than their competitors who do not. Christian ethics are grounded in generosity, which can take many forms, including the giving of money, time, resources, and care. When you donate to organizations whose missions mesh with your own, you’re acting as a good citizen in both the community and the business world.
It is not uncommon for successful businesspeople to also be devout Christians. To be a leader with authority, compassion, and integrity while remaining true to your Christian beliefs is possible.