“A good reputation is preferable to riches, and the approval of others is better than precious silver or gold… A humble person who fears the Eternal can expect to receive wealth, honor and life. Thorny branches and traps lie ahead for those who follow perverse paths; those who want to preserve themselves will steer clear of them…”

(Proverbs 22:1,4-5 The Voice)

It’s been a long time coming for South African business moguls, the Guptas. Two of the Gupta brothers, Ajay and Atul, their wives, five assistants, and a “mountain of luggage” reportedly left the country for Dubai in their private jet on Thursday night.

All of this after a few rocky weeks following accusations that the family had offered ministerial posts in the country’s cabinet to ruling party (ANC) politicians, which subsequently led to companies such as KPMG (their auditors),  FNB and ABSA (banks), as well as their sponsor, Sasfin Capital, cutting ties with the family’s businesses.

Matthew Lester, a financial analyst, had an interesting take on the affair – he is adamant that it is reputation and whiffs of bad corporate governance that steered the business sector’s reaction to the family’s businesses.

“If your reputation gets knocked up, you have a major problem in business,” said Lester. “In our private sector, modern corporate governance standards are working; if you haven’t gotten (sic) your reputation right, your stakeholders will walk away…”

I love the idea of corporate governance in business. Basically, to prevent managers from making decisions that would only benefit themselves and that would be detrimental to others, a system of checks and balances has to be put in place. This system is called corporate governance – making sure that management behaves appropriately. A board of directors and an external auditor are all hired by this governance system and other constituents such as creditors, suppliers, labour unions, the media, and regulators play a role in this. It also suggests the company should run itself for the good of the people (its environment) rather than solely for its own profit.

To me, the gospel – the good news about Jesus – is basically a system of corporate governance in our own lives. Just as corporate governance is a “set of protocols and institutional systems meant to ensure accountability and sound ethics,” the gospel and our acceptance of it in our life, is the acceptance of a set of protocols and institutional systems that ensure our soundness. I swear, the rules were made for us to be free. And I, as a young person, feel the most free when I am submitting to and am found under the protection of accountability.

I was speaking to my parents (who also happen to be my spiritual leaders) about a specific thing that I was going through in my life right now, and how I’ve tried to be honest and open about it all. Mom and I laughed, because we knew that this wasn’t in my nature, but rather something that I had forced myself to do – under the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

Not only does bad company corrupt good character (the Bible says so in 1 Corinthians 15:33) but also, wisdom is shown to be right by the fruits of all of her decisions (Luke 7:35), and her reputation is at stake.

For me, spiritual governance, and living by a set of protocols and systems that are meant to ensure my accountability and sound ethics, is not so much about impressing people as it is doing what I know would make God happy. It isn’t about religion and being religious as much as about living a life inspired by a love for God.

I love God, and so I do what He says!

The amount of profitability that stems out of that relationship is more than I could have ever wanted or imagined, and if you don’t experience that today or have no idea what I am speaking about, I encourage you, friend, to lend us your time to learn a bit more by clicking on the banner below!

If you already live your life out of a love for God, but don’t necessarily find yourself walking the course set out by him, I encourage you to employ wisdom and love today.

“You see, to love God means that we keep his commands, and his commands don’t weigh us down. Everything that has been fathered by God overcomes the corrupt world. The victory that has conquered the world: our faith”

(1 John 3-4, The Voice)

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