I walked into a business in Indianapolis when I was in high school that was owned by a classmate’ father. There on the wall, in raised lettering was this: “This business is dedicated to the glory of Jesus Christ”. If I remember correctly, this man had an affair and ended up divorcing his wife. I’ve often thought about that scenario and what those who were not believers walked away with from their experience with this man.
Whatever level of integration of faith and business you feel led to live out, it is sure that you will fail to live up to the standards in public. You’re human. Those who oppose your faith will use your failings to fan the flames of ridicule and finger-pointing. Others will be disappointed in you – a few might conclude that you’re Satan’s gift to Christian Business Ownership. The risks of being vocal about your faith in the marketplace are real. People are watching and judging. It’s natural that they would do so.
I’m probably more vocal than most. I’ve lost business due to how vocal I am about my faith. A few are nice to my face but spiteful behind my back. But those who get to know me understand that I can be agreeable with those with whom I disagree and will still work with them if possible. I tend to not cut off relationships unless there is a clear loss of trust and confidence in the relationship. Then there seems to be no use to keep trying. Some endings are necessary.
The vocality of your faith is your decision before God. Whatever levels He calls you to should be followed. But as you live out your faith in the workplace, here are some principles for you to remember:
- Your faith is your faith – while you can testify to what you believe, count on most people disagreeing with you – and that’s OK
- Your faith should lead to humility in public and love for those who believe and act differently than you
- Your faith is dead without works – the vast majority of your testimony should be actions, not words. If all you’re doing is talking, no one will listen.
- Your faith is compromised by sin – God cannot and will not bless your business if you’re living in sin
- Your faith will be opposed by Satan – He will attempt to destroy you, which is why spiritual warfare is so very important
- Your faith should cause amplified generosity – since it is God who gives us our wealth in the first place, it’s His to do with as He pleases. We’re simply stewards.
- Your faith is all you’ll have on your death bed, so keep in mind that your business is temporary, but being faithful to God is eternal
- Your faith defines who you are – who you are, at your core, should be non-negotiable
- Your faith is worth more than silver or gold – so don’t deny your faith to gain new business or keep existing business – it’s not worth it
- Your faith should be offered, not argued. It’s best to accept others differences than to debate or argue with them.
When God calls you to live out your faith in the marketplace, you’re entering one of the greatest mission fields in the world. May God richly bless you as a Business Owners – regardless of what level of openness to which He calls you.