If There Was No Sin, Would We Still Have Businesses
By Ross O’brien
If Adam and Eve (and everyone since them) had not sinned, would we still have companies?
I sometimes ask my business students this question. Trying to imagine the world without their iPhones® or a chai tea latte from Starbucks doesn’t sound much like paradise to them. But the question remains, "If sin had not entered the world and completely corrupted God’s perfect creation, would we still have companies that produce goods and deliver services?" To answer this question, we really need to look at God’s original commandments and also examine the nature of companies.
“In the beginning,” so the story goes (Genesis 1), over a five-day period, God created the universe, formed the earth, separated land from water, and created plants and animals. And in his words, “It was good.” To this creation he added people, making them in his own image and breathing life into them. He commanded them to fill the earth, to work, and to steward creation. Like a parent excited to see his children discover and experiment with new toys at Christmas, I can just imagine God being eager for Adam and Eve to learn more about the beautiful, amazing world in which they had been placed and discover how to steward that creation to glorify God and bless others. On this sixth day, God said, “It was very good.” You can sense his anticipation and excitement in that statement.
God created man and woman with unique capabilities and interests. This, combined with his mandate to work and steward creation in a context of unlimited potential for discovery, was indeed very good. In this setting, people could express their God-given talents and interests in unique ways. Some, gifted in mechanics or engineering, would learn the laws of physics that God had built into creation. Those more gifted in music would learn to make instruments with things found in nature, blending together an orchestra of sound to glorify and praise God. Some might have a gifting in problem solving, discovering how to move resources from one place to another more efficiently. In some cases, the discoveries and opportunities they found to steward creation would require people working together rather than alone or simply in family units. These collaborative efforts would require people with different skill sets to work together to do more than any one of them could do alone. And isn’t this the nature of companies? Companies exist to create and deliver products and services that no one person can accomplish alone.
So, even if sin had never entered the world, we would most likely still see people cooperating together, using their unique abilities to develop products or services that glorify God and bless others. But, of course, sin did enter the world and corrupted every part of creation, every person, and every institution, including businesses. We see evidence of that corruption all the time.
Thankfully, God looked on mankind with mercy and provided a way for redemption, the gift of Jesus. Through Jesus, God began the work of restoring creation and invites followers of Jesus to be co-laborers in this work of restoration. As at the time of the original creation, people are born with unique abilities and interests. We still have the mandate to work and to steward creation. And though we are all imperfect, damaged by the effect of sin, we can still express our abilities and interests in creation in ways that glorify God and bless others. Some, gifted in business, strive to co-labor with Jesus in restoring people and institutions in the marketplaces of the world. These are BAM companies, and we invite you to come and discover how God is working in and through these businesses to impact his creation. The Lion’s Den DFW will showcase several of these companies and the entrepreneurs called by God into these markets.
What would your company look like if we lived in a perfect, sinless world? How can you influence your company to look more like that today?