How Are We Treating Others?
And as ye would that men should do to you,
do ye also to them likewise.
I've been going though a difficult situation with a service company I hired some time ago. According to our agreement, certain things were supposed to happen at certain times and they weren't getting done. When I pointed these items out in neatly typed black and white, rather than admitting error, the “Christian” Business owner skirted the issue and tried to put the error on me. Amazing.
This Christian businessman wasn't holding up his end of the agreement and was in clear breach of contract. After a heated conversation we terminated our agreement. A few days later he emailed me to say he was getting out of that business. As it turns out, I'm not the only one who's complained about his services. It's too bad really, but it's also instructive. I was glad for the relatively peaceful resolve, but wanted to make sure I'd learned all I could from this experience. I'm certainly not immune to being less than Christ-like myself.
As a Christian Businessman, I need to conduct business the way Jesus would. If you're a business owning believer, consider these questions with me:
- What's most important to me: Making money or offering the best product and service I can?
- Am I treating my clients the way I want to be treated?
- Am I being completely clear and upfront with my customers?
- Am I pointing out what my employees do right as much what they do wrong?
- Are my contracts and agreements written equitably and honorably or are there hidden fees and traps to snare customers?
- How's my reputation in the community?
Talk about having your priorities in order! Jesus gave us this instruction that is relevant for both in business and life:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (Matthew 22:37-39)
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Every once in a while I catch the TV series “Undercover Boss”. It's where a CEO or a big business owner gets into disguise and becomes an entry-level employee in his own company for a week. It's eye-opening for everyone and worth a watch. We business owners could learn a lot by wearing the shoes of our customers and employees for a time now and then.
With all of the social media options available today, customers can write and post comments about our businesses in minutes. What will they write about ours today? Will we get a 1-star or a 5-star review? Will they ever come back or will they return with a car full of their friends because of the great service they received?
More importantly, what kind of review would Jesus Christ give us if he did business with us today? Would he be pleased with our offerings or take his business elsewhere?