This week, Americans celebrate Independence Day; a term used by many other countries which celebrate their freedom from colonial powers. Some other countries call it National Day like Spain and Thailand do; but what does it mean to be independent? Independent from what? What does it mean?  How about freedom? Is freedom absolute or conditional?

History and dictionary definitions tie the term closely to words like freedom and liberty.  As I was thinking about this as the day approaches, I wondered about all of this in relationship to the Quadruple Bottom Line (QBL) of Business as Mission (BAM).  The QBL of BAM is expressed using differing articulations, but here I will use Jo Plummer’s titles from this article.

DOING SPIRITUAL GOOD True freedom comes only when a person is reconciled to God who brings salvation from death and sin.  That is why BAM focuses on the spiritual and seeks to make disciples of Jesus. Jesus is the truth and the life (John 14:6) and “…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36).

DOING ECONOMIC GOOD Wealth creation is a gift from God (Deut. 8:18) and as we follow the capitalist model, individuals are free from central planning and are free to use private personal property and market supply and demand. The result is personal, community, and national flourishing.

DOING SOCIAL GOOD In a world victimized and enslaved by poverty, injustice, unemployment, and exploitation, we believe that a good job is a key solution (see “The Coming Jobs War” by Jim Clifton). These jobs are best when individual freedom of choice allows for dignified and satisfying work tied to individual capacity and goals.

DOING ENVIRONMENTAL GOOD This is about being good stewards of all of God’s Creation, including human manpower. We are free to design creative solutions for human skill development and to solve problems related to sanitation and pollution, as well as natural resource protection. Don Simmons, in his 2022 book, “The Steward Investor”, cites an ancient proverb, “Society grows great when people plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”  That is the freedom to serve others for a better future and for doing environmental good.

Celebrate Independence Day, freedom and liberty yes – but keep aligned with the Quadruple Bottom line of Business as Mission.

Larry W. Sharp, BAM Support Specialist, IBEC Ventures

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