In The Beginning Work

 “The Genesis account of creation mentions two things about the dignity of being God-imaging creatures – relationality and regency. The first, relationality, means that we are to be community-builders (“in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” Genesis 1:27) But the second, regency, means that we have the wonderful role of presenting the absent monarch’s interests, for that is what the regent does. In this case the King is not absent. God says, “Fill the earth and subdue it…Till (the earth) and keep it” (Genesis 1:28; 2:15) So in both community building and regency we are included in the on-going work of God.

                                                      R. Paul Stevens, author, Doing God’s Business

God had worked in the beginning to create our world and invited us to join Him in the work. He purposed His unique creation, humankind, to rule over all His other creation. Adam started work, naming the animals and Noah worked to bring them in pairs inside the ark. From Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to Jesus, work was part of their daily lives. Joseph was a carpenter and Jesus helped him do tables and chairs. I can only imagine how perfect and beautiful the chairs and tables made by Jesus!

I started work in a public accounting firm in my early twenties that helped me make a living, initially for myself and to help my parents raising up my other siblings.   After five years, I got married and began to raise a family of my own.

In my early thirties, I began to think about my work and asked myself, “is this the right career for me?” Having our first baby about a year after getting married, expecting the second child after three years, and the household expenses increasing the question of the career choice became real. Despite my wife and I both working, we could hardly make both ends meet.   I started to think of overseas employment or moving to another employer for a higher paying job. But these options did not prosper. I stayed with the firm and began to move up in rank and was given higher responsibilities. My wife’s career also flourished so our combined salaries caught up with our living expenses plus a little savings in our bank account.

In my forties, I was admitted to the firm’s partnership, which meant higher responsibilities and a substantial jump in my salaries and share in the firm’s income. The question I grappled with now is “who do I want to become or who am I?” The answer was clear to me – to become a professional accountant in public practice. This blessing and good favor I received from the LORD allowed my wife to pursue her dream to become a full time homemaker.  She quit a high paying job to take care of our growing up children, now increased to four, two girls and two boys. I always say in jest that because both of us are accountants, we always want to put everything in balance, the budget and even the number of children!

In my fifties, I began to think about retirement and seeing our children finishing college and looking to start a career of their own. The life-changing question I pondered on was, “what difference am I making in the world?” Being part of global professional services organization which helps build trust in society and solve their global clients important problems, I was satisfied with the answer I get the longer I thought about whether I am making a difference in the world during this stage of my life.

Now in my sixties, I have retired after more than thirty years of work, I am faced with this question – “What will be my legacy?” My membership in two distinguished institutions, Philippine Institute of CPAs and Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), has allowed me the opportunity to teach (and sometimes preach!) younger CPAs about ethics and good corporate governance. As an ICD fellow, I get to work with either as member of the board or volunteer consultant to other board members of a number of organizations.

I also co-founded together with other like-minded individuals, the Christian Council for Transparency and Accountability ( a peer accountability group that advocates responsible stewardship or good corporate governance to Christ-centered organizations. I enjoy the work I do, especially ethics and governance. Why? Because all organizations involved people and they are mainly about trusting relationships.  Ethics is the essence of good corporate governance.

A trustworthy organization creates a culture of accountability, promotes a spirit of transparency and develops people of integrity. In this kind of organization people flourish. They act with integrity, treat everyone, including their customers, with respect and dignity. This is an organization that is morally and ethically governed. This was how God intended it to be since the beginning of creation. He invited all of us, God-imaging creatures, to participate in His on-going work of community building and reigning here on earth as in heaven!