Somebody recently told me, "Whatever you do, just do not do business with a Christian!" insinuating that many Christians (probably most, in his mind) can not be trusted in business. The accusation is not new at all – I have heard it many times before – and make no mistake, it hurts every time! But is it valid?
Sadly, despite exaggerated, the accusation is not entirely without substance! As a Christian this accusation was of great concern to me initially and it resisted in reliance on my part to identify myself as a Christian in my business dealings. It robbed me of my confidence as a businessman to identify myself as a Christian in the market place, until one day … I realized that although there is likely to be an Ananias and Sapphirah in every Christian community, most Christians are people of high integrity!
You do not have to apologize for being a Christian
The fact of the matter is that dishonesty, racketeering, unreliability, fraud and corruption are everyday phenomena in this world and happens to a greater or less extend in every society and every religion. I certainly do not want to make excuses for dishonest Christians, but at the same time I am not going to apologize because I call myself a Christian businessman! The fact that I am a Christian certainly makes a difference to my values and the way I conduct my business. I was fired from my job twenty years ago because I refused to sign a tender containing a dishonest practice, and I have no regrets.
Covering up your moral deficiency makes you a hypocrite
I live in South Africa and you all know our history of apartheid prior to 1994. I have a black Christian friend, an evangelist, with whatever I have been acquainted for many years. During the apartheid years he was invited to preach to the labourers on a certain farm. On arrival the white farmer said to him: "If there will be" kaffirs "in heaven one day, I do not want to go to heaven!" In reply my black friend said: "Sir, where you will be going then, there will be many more!"
Hypocrisy is the concealment of character. I have come to realize that when people make general accusations like the one in the first paragraph, they are in fact often simply trying to conceive their own moral deficiency. It's the same as saying, "I do not want to go to church because the pews are full of hypocrites." What they forget is that where they are, are many more!
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," (Isa 30:21 NKJV)
To Christians I want to say, if you claim to be a Christian, you have to walk your talk! You have to live up to your Christian identity and the standard of the Bible, or stop calling yourself a Christian! "… if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Cor 5:17 NKJV) I am told that Alexander the Great once said to one of his troops by the name of 'Alexander' who absconded from the army, "Young man, change your behavior, or change your name!"
To unfaithful Christians I want to say, when you are untrustworthy in business, you are not only betraying the Name of Jesus Christ who you claim to follow, but you are betraying the entire body of Christians. Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver and then committed suicide. Thirty pieces of dirty silver in the market place is just not worth the glitter!
To non-Christians I want to say, true Christianity is something to be desired. Do not be side-tracked by unfaithful followers! Look at our Leader and Master; His Name is Jesus Christ – Lord of Lords and King of Kings! Whether He is that for you will surely make a difference in the world – and the world of difference to you !