Monday, April 6th, 2020

Christian Business Ethics And Hard Questions


christian business ethicsLet’s talk a little about Christian business ethics.

Remember, really there is no such thing as a Christian business.

There are simply Christians who are in business.  They work for a business.  They run the business. Or they’re building the business.

And we sometimes have to make tough choices in our businesses.

As Christians, we rely on the Bible first to guide us, but it doesn’t always give perfectly clear direction for every situation.  That’s where prayer and wisdom comes in.

We’re to deal fairly in our judgments (Proverbs 16:11).

We’re to tell the truth (Proverbs 14:5).

We know we’re to love even our enemies (Luke 6:27).

The Sermon on the Mount definitely gives us a lot to process on this subject!

In the business world, it always seems like we’re being pulled away from this path.

It could be a business partner who suggests you cut a few corners.

Or let’s say you hire a copywriter to write a new ad for your website.

A great way to increase conversion is to tell an authentic story about background, how the product was created, or the benefits in action for a customer.

All of that is good.

But what about when your copywriter decides to add a few more interesting details to your story…details that aren’t accurate?

The correct response is to tell them to fix it. The story should truly be authentic and what happened.

Or let’s give another scenario that has happened multiple times.

Another business owner promotes you to their list.  Sales are made and you give them the share you promised.

Now they ask you to promote for them.  What happens if you SUSPECT their ad may be exaggerated?

I hope you notice I said “suspect,” not that you know it to be true.

Obviously you need to ask them.  But what if they say it’s all accurate?  And you still get that little feeling that something is wrong…

And how do you know your feeling is right?  That’s when it isn’t always easy.

Let’s take another situation.  There is a common saying, “The customer is always right.”

But what about when the customer is wrong?  What about when they’re rude, disrespectful, and demanding?

Let’s take the scenario an extra step. Let’s say the customer is rude, disrespectful, and demanding to such an extent that your employee starts to cry.

What about now?  Is the customer still right?

Sorry…in my opinion, no they’re not.

I’ve always had a policy in my business that we try to make you happy but there are about 1% of people out there you can’t make happy no matter what.

Perhaps that’s too high as it is more like 1 in a 1,000.  In general most people can be reasonable.

The only thing that can be done with the others is refund them and suggest they do business elsewhere.

I’ve worked with Christian ministries that sure seemed nice on the outside.

But if you spoke to their staff…it was horrible how they were treated.  The Christian walk was only extended to people who attended the church, gave donations, and the outside world.  All the employees for the ministry were always considered in the wrong.

And a lot of that was caused by them having the feeling they needed to always love those they were serving.  Their own staff got left out in the cold during the process.

As I said, it isn’t always easy.

That’s why we need to get around other Christians.  And it doesn’t mean we always agree.  But we need to be willing to ask the hard questions.

As a business owner, it’s too easy to become isolated.  Find a local Christian business group.  Make contact with other Christians online.

Form your own little Mastermind group where you have similar goals and commit to help each other.

A public forum like this is good for sharing, but you can’t share all the details of your situation and businesses in it.  It just doesn’t fit.  That’s where you need to associate with others on the same wavelength in a closed setting.

Let me end with this question…

How do you stay focused and connect with other Christian business owners?

About Terry Dean
I've been in full-time business online since 1996. I've been an ordained minister since 1993. Yes, business and ministry are my passions. I also love God, my wife Julie, my two dogs, the outdoors, and video games.


4 Responses to “Christian Business Ethics And Hard Questions”
  1. Chris Patton says:

    Great post, Terry. I completely agree with your points and I strongly recommend the group setting that you described.

    It is for this reason I am a member of a C12 group. We meet monthly for a whole day and discuss these very issues (and more!). I have been in this group for more than 5 years now and can vouch for the results.

  2. Bruce Hoag says:

    I entirely agree with you, Terry. I’ve found that having a Christian business coach is an enormous benefit because I can discuss what seems to be un-Biblical thinking with someone who I know relies on the same objective standard that I do.

  3. Scott Vogel says:

    I always enjoy your Christian take on business.

    Yes, there are no Christian businesses, there are only Christian’s in and doing business.

    If we as Christians truly do what Jesus would do…conducting business would be much more enjoyable.

    What is all businesses acted in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, forgiveness and self-control…Wow!!! What a great experience it would be to do business with companies.

    The customers is NOT always right…

    When a customer is rude, demanding and none of your team wants to serve that customers…They should be invited to do business elsewhere.

    Some have responded…”What if he tells all his friends”…Probably the friends he has are not the ones you want to do business with either.

    I stay focused on Christian business ethics by being in a group of other like-minded people who can help me look at my work and my business and ensure I’m following the right path.

    Scott Vogel

  4. James Zedd says:

    Zig Ziglar once said something along the lines of “if honesty isn’t as much of a part of you as your head, then you’re not going to be successful.”

    We need to be more Christ-like in our business practices, as well as everywhere else.

    Thanks for sharing Terry.

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