In response to this recent post about doing business justly, I received an e-mail from a Christian business owner in Canada:
Thanks for that post. Here are some of my reflections about being in business.
Many friendships have soured over business dealings that had a component to them that was not pleasant, real or imagined. I was on the receiving end of more than a few and over the years very likely caused others to have some doubts over ours.
Hence, I rather give a bit more than anticipated, the bakers’ dozen approach.
Where it gets problematic is when the customer is suspicious of any transaction -envy- and that a business owner must be crooked if he is successful. It is very difficult to gain trust under such circumstances.
One of my benefactors, back 54 years ago, was a very disgruntled church member who, although prospering in his retail import business, took it ill of fellow church members if they did not patronize his store for merchandise he offered and went shopping at the large stores.
His grumbling had a very negative influence on his children, all wandered away from the Christian faith. The subject was off-limits too for any discussion. It taught me a lesson which stuck with me through life, to go the extra mile and be thankful for what you receive from the Lord and fight against envy, and don’t argue with people that opt to spend their funds elsewhere, and or harbor any resentment.
Any self-employed Christian in business takes on a leadership role in its community. What image do they (want to) project to those around them?
Rarely did anyone ask us about business ethics and how we prevented and or resolved disagreements at home visits.
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