I have been in business for probably thirty years or more, and, during that time, I have discovered something that both intrigues and saddens me. As many of those I have done business with are also Christians, I have noticed a somewhat prevailing attitude and that is this: Many Christians think I should do things for them either for free, or at least at a greatly discounted rate!
Now, you may not see anything wrong with this, and that’s okay, but I do want you to know that such a concept is contrary to scripture.In fact, I had to invoke scripture in a “reverse take” not too long ago. Let me explain.
I have a good friend named Ruben. A few years ago, Ruben had me pray for him to find a mentor, and I offered to fill that role. It was a very beneficial relationship, and Ruben gleaned a lot regarding both his Christian Walk and just handling life in general. On several occasions I asked Ruben and his sons to come to the house and help me with some menial tasks that I had gotten too old to accomplish on my own, as they mandated someone getting up on the roof and my wife and daughters had banned me from such activities. Ruben jumped at the opportunity, and all was well and good until I asked him how much he would charge me.
He was so grateful for our mentoring relationship, he explained, that he did not want me to pay him anything. And, he was most vehement on the issue. At that point I shared Jer. 22:13 with him, “Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work;” I told him that I didn’t want to be “woed,” and, chuckling, he agreed to let me pay him. We agreed that I would give him what I thought it was worth to me, thus preventing him from having to quote me a price.
Going back to the intent of this Blog, when we ask for, and even more importantly expect, a discount we put our Christian brothers and sisters in a precarious position. You see, at that point, they run the risk of:
- Offending us
- Undermining their efforts to provide for their family
As well as the verse in Jeremiah, I have also tried to live by both I Tim. 5:18 – For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward and Luke 10:7a – And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire.
Now, and this IS my opinion and not scriptural, I have no compunction at all in paying Christians the going rate, and maybe even a little bit more, for I know they in turn are going to tithe and thus help promote the Kingdom of God! I think the real key here is that we should want to ensure that our fellow Christians are blessed by giving them our business. As we do this, we can rest assured that God will, in turn, bless us!
Along these lines, I would like to share with you a situation that occurred in my life a number of years ago that intrigues me to this very day. There was a friend who had a talent/skill that I was hoping to benefit from. When I asked him for his assistance I could sense his hesitance, and immediately added to my request, “I would be happy to pay you.” At that point he gave me a warm smile and said, “Floyd, your money is a poor substitute for my time.” At that point I discovered what his priority in life was, and money wasn’t it!
In closing, I would just like to reiterate that, at least in my estimation, it is our responsibility to Bless Christian Business people, and let God worry about making sure we get Blessed!!!