3.1 discussion: devotional – is competition evil or encouraged?

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Getting Started

Humanity has been aggressively competitive nearly back to the beginning of the Bible when Cain and Able were brothers, and Cain killed Able because Cain had something that Able did not have (Genesis 4). It’s pretty easy to believe and know that level of deadly response is inherently evil, yet in business, we often speak of killing the competition and are willing to put another company out of business if it helps our cause. We read in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 that performance with the goal of winning is not only proper but also encouraged because we train and run to win. If we are to train and race to win, that means someone else will lose. Then we read in 1 Corinthians 12:19-31 that we are all equally valuable as parts of the body of Christ. We are told in Philippians 2:3-6 to look out for each other, which seems to say that we should not be doing anything that might injure or damage someone else, and putting a competitor out of business could be damaging to its employees. Can we balance these seemingly conflicting messages?

Upon successful completion of this discussion, you will be able to:

  • Develop a biblical framework to resolve ethical dilemmas in marketing strategies and tactics.

Resources

  • Bible (New International Version)

Background Information

Biblical concepts on competition—Is it inherently good or evil, and does it have a place in the kingdom? Philippians 2:3-6, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 and 12:19-31.

Instructions

  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
  2. You identified a company or industry of interest for your degree program. As you think about the inherent competition in the market, and the impact of new offerings that will replace other offerings in the market, think about and respond to these questions:
    1. How compatible or helpful are these passages in give us guidance on how to run a business in your industry of interest?
    2. Compare the amount and type of concern we should have for another business in our industry of interest versus what we should have for an individual person working in that industry?
    3. Is it possible to run a business in your industry of interest in such a manner that you will be successful without taking away from another company’s market, it’s sales, and it’s profits, such that the other company could need to reduce employment or close, which would seem to not be in the spirit of Christian community and fellowship? Why?