This week, I had the privilege of presenting to a group of professional executive coaches, and it was insightful to see their curiosity as I explained that I can’t align with the phrase “It’s not personal, it’s business.” These professionals spend most of their days with high-level executives who regularly deal with conflict in the workplace, and I’m certain this isn’t an uncommon phrase. This phrase, however, has been used as an excuse to justify ungodly behavior as being acceptable because money or “business” was the context in which it was done.
Is there a difference?
I remember being a part of the corporate world where this was such a common justification that it made me wonder if there weren’t different boundaries around personal interaction and business transaction. Yet, as a Christian, there’s no part of my conduct that can be separated from God’s standard of holiness. If I don’t conduct my business in a way that reflects my inner character — which should be a heart submitted to Christ — then I’m a hypocrite. My walk with Christ is the most personal thing in my life, and I need to display that publicly.
A Greater Witness
A Christian should be a Christian within business and everywhere else. In fact, I’d go further to say that our business conduct can provide an even greater witness than our personal, private interactions. As a Christian business owner, my mission statement clearly indicates that I won’t align with ideas or behaviors that violate my biblical beliefs. Yet when the check is in my hands, will I still be willing to walk away even at the risk of losing the money to not compromise that standard?
If money can buy almost anything, a Christian taking a stand against letting it buy their personal standards or values speaks to the world of the power and the presence that surpasses the blessings that wealth can bring. My walking away from a client is an opportunity to glorify Him. It isn’t giving up a client, it’s giving him or her to God. It’s my prayer in this day, to be bolder and more determined in holding that standard because it is His standard, not mine. Holiness is the goal; compromise cannot be.