Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

Ecclesiastes 7:8 “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Volkswagen Golf, an iconic car that has endured the test of time like its parent company. But nearly a decade ago, Volkswagen was on the ropes for severe ethical violations when it was discovered that they had intentionally designed automobile software to cheat on emissions tests.

In a September 2015 New Republic article, ethicist Edward Queen railed against Volkswagen for its recent “unmistakable malfeasance.” He described their actions in the following way: “This was an intentionally designed and executed violation of the law in both its letter and its spirit. It also was an ethical violation of the highest level.”

Interestingly, Dr. Queen traced the root cause of VW’s scandal back to a business school culture where “far too much of the world’s corporate leadership is driven by moral midgets who have been educated far beyond their capacities for good judgment.” These strong words and the corresponding shameful corporate moral lapses stem from one primary and repeated business school lesson according to Dr. Queen: “the only duty of a corporation is return on investment.” He contended that a focus on short-term greed and an attitude of immediate gratification were to blame for these substantial problems. In Dr. Queen’s mind, this culture had been “drilled into generations of business school graduates” driving “tsunamis of corporate malfeasance.” How shameful!

But wait … is it possible that some Christians today are following the same path? Every time we encourage short-term ministry or personal success without regard to long-term consequences, we are effectively saying “the only duty of our corporation is return on investment.” Every time we praise, reward, or promote those whose immediate accomplishments are magnificent even though they are unsustainable or may actually create long term problems, we are effectively saying “the only duty of our corporation is return on investment.” Every time we promote a myopic vision that seemingly solves immediate problems without due regard to enduring results, we are effectively saying “the only duty of our corporation is return on investment.”

May Christians never be labeled “moral midgets” and may we never play a role in creating “tsunamis of malfeasance.” Encouraging a longer-term perspective that rewards, promotes, and emphasizes sustainable performance and long-term mission success is an important lesson that should be emphasized for all Christians, and with ministry leaders in particular.

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO KEEP ETERNAL AND SUSTAINABLE ENDS IN MIND FOR GOD’S GLORY. Those results provide the return on investment that really matters.