Hosea 14:9 (NKJV)
9 Who is wise?
Let him understand these things.
Who is prudent?
Let him know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right;
The righteous walk in them,
But transgressors stumble in them.
Do you know the meaning of wisdom and prudence? Dictionary.com provides the definitions:
Wisdom (noun): Knowledge of what is true or right, coupled with just judgment as to action.
Prudence (noun): Caution with regard to practical matters; discretion; or provident care in the management of resources.
Christians must have both wisdom and prudence in their lives and businesses to succeed and prosper. God wants us to walk in His Ways in all that we do. When—not if—we make a mistake, then we own that mistake and face up to the responsibility and its consequences.
Christian business owners have a higher duty to serve God first and their customers, employees and vendors as children of God … even when they do not “deserve” it or are not Believers. It is often difficult to see the angry vendor, the disruptive employee, or the late-paying client as “beloved of God” yet that is what we are called to do. This does not mean, however, that we are to be floor mats to be walked on or over.
Instead it means that we are to be wise and prudent in our actions. We have to be measured in our responses and act not in anger or out of pride, but in the best interest of our businesses by holding firm to God-based principles and behaviors. It means that we must be willing and able to hold others accountable appropriately to their commitments and the expectations of performance. If a customer contracts for quality goods and services at a negotiated price, then they are to pay that price in return for the delivery of those quality goods and services. If an employee is to meet certain standards of conduct and performance, then the employee should be evaluated to those standards and action take to reward, correct or eliminate anyone who is unwilling or unable to perform.
Accepting bad behavior places an undue burden on individuals and organizations that are doing what is expected of them. Customers who fail to pay on time and in full may be struggling financially or simply have set the wrong priorities or be willfully not paying. Businesses who do or cannot get paid will not stay in business; that means employees will lose jobs, vendors will lose customers, and investors will lose their money.
The key to being a successful Christian Business and a Christian Business Owner is seeking the wisdom to know how to handle the difficult situations as well as the simple ones. It means being prudent in the timing of and nature of your actions. In all things it means seeking God to receive wisdom necessary to handle every situation. It also means asking for God’s “provident care” of you and your business each day.
Author: Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
All Rights Reserved