I’ve been lucky enough to have a Father that knows the Bible. He not only knows and understands the Bible; he loves it and raised us with the many principles found within its pages. He is a Reverend with the PAOC (and now the District Superintendent) and had a successful business. I not only saw my Father preach the word (I’ve sat through year long, well what felt like year long series on so many of the NT books) but I watched him live it. He was a great example for me, and I recognize now as an “approaching middle age man” that the principles my parents instilled in us have been a blessing to not only myself, but my career.
Growing up I assumed if you were a confessing Christian that meant you acted like one. It seemed obvious to me that if you proclaimed Christ as your Lord, that meant that He was just that, your Lord (master). The Fruits of the Spirit weren’t something that came and went; they were something you strived to display all of the time.
Over the past several months I volunteered for a large event in Saskatchewan. As part of my role I was to follow up with businesses that had registered to attend to ensure we received payment for their registration and received the names and contact information of the people that will be attending. It was a relatively easy job. With over 600 golfers I didn’t have any problems, except for one.
After sending an email to one company asking them to complete their registration I was emailed back some very choice words. The email back to me explained that I was a terrible volunteer and they took offence to me asking them to pay for their unpaid registration.
Out of 600 golfers the one that was rude, irrational and ungracious was the one company everyone knows is a “Christian company”. The CEO is often found at events evangelizing his faith. I have no problems with this (I question their approach sometimes though) and can at least see his passion. However, if you’re going to profess a faith that calls you to be different, you should act different.
I went to our planning meeting and vented about this situation to our group. I mentioned that the frustrating part of this is, as a Believer I know they are called to a higher standard (all believers are) and when a professing Believer is the only “hassle” we have to deal with, it makes the rest of us look bad. One of the committee members piped up and said something I’ve unfortunately heard before. “Well the two things are different. Faith is faith and business is business.” I immediately responded before I could even think and said “It shouldn’t be.”
The truth is IT SHOULDN’T BE! I’m a Christian first, everything else is second. I’m a Christian Father, a Christian Husband, A Christian Boss and a Christian Capitalist. I’m a Christian first, and the principles in the Bible lead everything I do after that. So when I’m looking to make more money, and increase business, I do it by trying to be a Christian man of integrity and grace. I do my best to display the Fruits of the Spirit I proclaim to be in relationship with.
In Ephesians (a book that took my Father probably 1 year to preach through) you read some specific requirements to how we are to treat those in our lives. As a businessman I’ve never really thought about these scriptures in the context of my leadership role, but in reflecting on being a Christian Employer/Employee/Supplier I recognize that God has called me to be a Christian (little Christ) in every venture, for His Glory.
Look at Ephesians 6:7-9. There is no clearer explanation of how we are to treat our bosses, our work, our staff (slaves in the old days), our customers and anyone else we come in contact with. We are to treat them just as we were to treat Christ! Strong words. We are to show respect, and sincerity. We are to obey our leaders at all times. We are to serve “wholeheartedly” as if we were serving Christ. We aren’t to threaten or show favoritism. And as bosses, employees, suppliers, whatever business relationship you have, we are to be the same.
See, the worst part about being a Christian is actually being a Christian. It’s counter culture, and requires us to give and Love always. We aren’t to talk down, or be aggressive. We aren’t to pay our employees less than industry standard. Remember in the verse it actually tells us to treat our slaves better then how slaves were treated in the culture of the day. We aren’t called to rip off people, and try and get everything the cheapest we can. Respect those that you work with and understand that if only one of you wins, eventually you both lose.
Serve Christ today in every part of your life. Be a Christian first, and watch the Kingdom of God grow. Preach the Gospel always; when necessary, use words.