By Elmer Grobler
Somebody recently told me, “Whatever you do, just don’t do business with a Christian!” insinuating that many Christians (probably most, in his mind) cannot be trusted in business. The accusation is not new at all — have heard it many times before — and make no mistake, it hurts every time! But is it valid?
Sadly, although exaggerated, the accusation is not entirely without substance! As a Christian this accusation was of great concern to me initially and it resulted in reluctance 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 realised that although there is likely to be an Ananias and Sapphirah in every Christian community, most Christians are people of high integrity!
You don’t have to apologise for being a Christian
The fact of the matter is that dishonesty, racketeering, unreliability, fraud and corruption are everyday phenomena in this world and occur to a greater or lesser 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 apologise 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 practise, 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 whom 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: â€œIf there will be â€œkaffirsâ€ in heaven one day, I don’t want to go to heaven!â€ In reply my black friend said: â€œSir, where you will be going then, there will be many more!â€
Hypocrisy is the concealment of character. I have come to realise that when people make general accusations like the one in the first paragraph, they are in fact often simply trying to conceal their own moral deficiency. It’s the same as saying, â€œI don’t want to go to church because the pews are full of hypocrites.â€ 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! â€œ… if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.â€ (2 Cor 5:17 NKJV) I am told that Alexander the Great once said to one of his troops by the name of â€˜Alexander’, on absconding from the army, â€œYoung man, change your behaviour, or change your name!â€
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. Don’t 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 certainly make a difference in the world — and the world of difference to you!
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