“You are stupid,” is what my best friend told me a few years back. His comment was not directed at me as a person, but more towards my principle of paying my taxes.
In the country where I worked, it was common practice to work “under the table” or “in the black!” No one declared their full income! I had decided early on that I would be a businessman of PRINCIPLE…so I declared and paid full taxes.
Using Principle to Proclaim
As you see in the story above, I have found that by being a person of principle offers opportunities to proclaim. I have been able to tell my best friend, my accountant, and business associates, that because I am a Christian, I need to be honest and follow the laws.
How can I claim to love and follow God, yet cheat – or steal – from the government?
Proclaiming comes naturally out of a desire to have a business run on Biblical principles.
Known for your Principles
It is actually quite amazing how quickly word will get around about you and your business principles. Because it is so different, people will tell others about what you do and hopefully why you do it.
We have had people come into our office looking to work for us because they have heard that we are people of principle: we pay fair wages, we pay on time, we treat people with respect, and we are honest. Praise the Lord for these opportunities to be light!
Principles cause Pain
One thing you need to know upfront is that sometimes standing for your principles can hurt. I don’t mean physically, but maybe financially. In our office, we have had great employees make mistakes that caused our company thousands of dollars.
We could have easily pushed the blame on someone else, however, being people of principle means we own up to our mistakes. We take responsibility for our behavior and we make it right with the clients. In the above case, that is what we did…we fixed the error and paid for it…but we stood on our principles. We also stood behind our employee! People notice this and it gives another opportunity to proclaim Jesus.