I met a man from China once who said this to me,
“I cannot trust you Christians. In China, the only reason that people do anything for each other is so that they can get something in return and succeed in business. So when you do things for me, I automatically assume it is because you want something.”
That’s a tough point of view for this man. He’s obviously been scarred in some way by businesses in China.
Things in America are certainly different from a cultural perspective, but even if they weren’t, as Christian entrepreneurs, we must be different. We must stand above the status quo and honor God in our work.
Here are principles that our businesses must have if we want to follow Christ.
Honesty and Integrity
“The Lord detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him” (Proverbs 11:1).
Clear as mud, right?We must stand above the status quo and honor #God in our #work. Click To Tweet
So back when this was written in Ancient Israel, sellers would use scales to weigh a person’s gold/silver/currency to see how much money they were actually paying. The price of an item would be in weight. Sometimes, the seller would dishonestly manipulate the scale so that the buyer would end up paying more than the agreed price because the scale didn’t read accurately.
Obviously, the proverb says that God hates this kind of thing, but accurate weights are what He wants.
So for us today, honesty and fairness take all kinds of forms and we must strive to treat people with integrity.
Taking Care of Your Employees
Colossians 4:1, speaking of masters and slaves, says that masters must give their slaves what is right and fair.
In addition to that, we believe that the masters/slaves discussion from the Bible contains principles which can be translated to an employer/employee situation in our culture today.
So in other words, employers must give their employees what is right and fair.
I knew an entrepreneur who once said this to me:
“Obamacare is supposed to be messing things up for entrepreneurs, but honestly, as a small business owner, nothing changed for me. I was already paying a high percentage of the insurance premiums for my employees. It has always been the right thing to do.”
That is a good perspective. Treat your employees well and help them to provide for their families. It is right and fair.
Commitment to High Quality
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24).
This one pretty much speaks for itself. Yes, the passage is, again, referring to slaves and masters, but the general principle remains – we have to put our best into our work.
Do everything with all your heart. Create quality products for your customers. Don’t cut corners. Don’t manufacture a product that will break in a year so that your customers will have to spend more money getting it repaired or replaced.
Make sure that your service truly serves the customers. Don’t do a shoddy job.So have #faith that your sacrifices will be worth it if you do it as working for the Lord. Click To Tweet
All this is given with a promise, too, that Jesus will give us a reward if we do this well. So have faith that your sacrifices will be worth it if you do it “as working for the Lord”.
Helping the Community
1 Timothy 6:17-19 gives us instructions about the rich being generous. “… Command [those who are rich] to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share…”
As entrepreneurs who bootstrapped our way to a successful business, we might not consider ourselves rich. However, we have the ability to arrange the budget of our businesses to allow for community outreach.
It’s our responsibility with the influence we have and resources available to us to take care of our communities. Give to local non-profits which serve the homeless or provide meals. Organize fundraisers for organizations that help with early education in the community. And on and on.
Proving Them Wrong
Let’s be honest, even in America, business owners can have the reputation of being greedy and selfish.
But that is the opposite of what God wants for us.
So prove everyone wrong. Show them through your personal actions and the actions you take through your business that you are honest, fair, hardworking, and generous.
Prove it so that men like the one I met from China would say, “Maybe I can trust Christians, and maybe I can trust Christ.”
Also published on Medium.