“Don’t tell people you’re a Christian and don’t do business with Christians.”
That was the advice I got from a member of my church when I was making the career transition into the financial services industry. At the time I understood it to mean that wearing the label of Christian in the secular business world puts you under a microscope that no human could ever withstand, so I took it heart. Flying under the radar is easier. Good deeds done in secret are rewarded in secret and all that. But it was the second part of that advice that bothered me the most. Why wouldn’t a Christian want to do business with other Christians?
I think what he meant, or at least what it comes down to for me is best summed up in the words of William Blake.
“Both read the scriptures day and night but thou seeist black where I seeist white”
Christianity is one of the most factioned and fractured movements on earth. When you put two Christians in a room it doesn’t take long before they are arguing over some obscure point of scripture. When two Christians start doing business together a simple dispute over service delivery or payment schedules can take on a whole new dimension when they start quoting scripture to one another. Arguments get ugly fast and the non-believers looking on can be quick to write the whole thing off as just another example of corrupt and greedy business people in a dispute over a trivial matter. “If that’s how Christians treat each other I want nothing to do with it.” Your life, including the way you run your business, is a witness for Jesus and if two professing Christians can’t get along the entire kingdom is damaged.
But lately I have been struggling with this advice as a whole. I want to be a witness, an ambassador as the apostle Paul put it, in life and in business. How can I not let people know I am a Christian or do business with other Christians?
“…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16]
Will I be held to a different standard that others? Maybe. Will I lose credibility when I fail? Probably. Will I end up in a dispute over some point of business with a fellow believer? I sure hope not.
The point is that as a Christ follower I cannot be ashamed of the life I lead, the hope I have or the Lord I serve. At the very beginning, just after the world and all that is in it was created God declared it good and there was no shame to be found in anything.
“Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” [Genesis 2:25]
Shame entered the world with sin. Hiding your salvation, is also a shameful sin.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 7:21]
As I have been developing the concepts contained here at The Meekonomics Project I have been increasingly convicted that it is time for me to be more transparent about my faith and my motivation. It’s time to be naked and unashamed!
How is God challenging you in your nakedness?