Have you thought about the fact that how you conduct you business affairs is a direct reflection on your relationship with Jesus? Today, we look at God’s way of making business deals.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.” – Psalms 112:5
The beginning of this Psalm simply says, blessed are those who fear the Lord. From there it goes on to speak of the blessings that come with a healthy fear. Although the term, “fear” is used frequently in the Bible, there are multiple meanings. Everything from terror as we think of it today to respect or reverential awe. In this verse, it’s likely that the Psalmist is speaking of being in awe of the power of God and respecting His power. (And probably a dose of literal fear mixed in as well)
But it all comes back to the relationship. We could easily change the first verse to read, “blessed are those who have a deep and strong relationship with the Lord.” The rewards include blessings to the person’s children and yes, verse 3 says “wealth and riches are in their houses.” How literal we should take that verse is the subject of many debates but one thing seems clear: Great wealth may not be God’s plan for your life but wealth gained through Biblical means is not sinful. “True Christians” don’t have to be poor.
As the verse says, we are to “conduct our affairs with justice” but what exactly does God mean when He says, “with justice?”
The Biblical synonym for justice is righteous or righteousness which simply means, to do what is right. Of course for those who are not Christians, “what is right” changes depending on any number of factors. But God doesn’t change and He has a clear standard of righteousness and it is there that we find the rules for making business deals in a way that would glorify Him.
You should be honest- DUH! Of course you should but should you be so honest that it may result in you coming out on the losing end of the deal? The Bible says yes. There are no degrees of honesty and the little white lie or the mind games aren’t appropriate for the Christian.
Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.” – Proverbs 19:1
You should be fair- There’s nothing wrong with making or saving money as a result of good negotiation but let’s say you were at a garage sale and knew that the person had something valuable but were asking too little. Is it OK not to say anything? It’s not. Let’s call it what it is: you’re stealing from somebody. How would you feel if you were the seller?
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices” – Colossians 3:9
You should be MORE upstanding than non-Christians- God has wired everybody to live a life that praises Him. Even the non-believer has within them the ability to glorify God and even if they don’t know it, they sometimes do. Non-Christians can act like Christians and they often do. You have to be on guard for anything that may send the message that you aren’t acting with integrity. Sometimes we negotiate too hard or with word choices that may be inappropriate.
God has wired everybody to live a life that praises Him. Even the non-believer has within them the ability to glorify God and even if they don’t know it, they sometimes do.
Have Empathy- See the other person’s side. Think about what the deal will cost them. Maybe you need somebody to clean your home and you know of somebody that is struggling financially that would be perfect for the job. An empathetic Christian wouldn’t pay the fair price. They would pay more.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” – Philippians 2:3
Show People the Difference- Is it fair to say that when somebody makes a deal with you, they should walk away feeling like they dealt with somebody who is different than the world? Should they question why it was they felt so comfortable and completely confident that you were thinking of them just as much as yourself? They should because in everything you do, Christ should shine through you. Our job is to show people why having Jesus in our life changes us for the better and if people don’t see that, we’ve failed in our mission.
Come and hear, all you who fear God;
let me tell you what he has done for me.,” – Psalm 66:16
Whether you own a business or not, most days come with deal making. Maybe it’s with a sales clerk, your boss, your spouse, or your kids. Regardless, there are deals to be made and God calls each of us to look and act differently than those people who don’t know Him. As you make those deals, keep these thoughts in mind. And remember that when you act with righteousness, God will make sure that the provisions you need are supplied. The righteous are always rewarded.