Just tell me the truth
As a general rule, no one wants to be lied to.
In business, we feel wronged if a client, vendor, or employee intentionally deceives us, or misrepresents themselves. Maybe they pad their hour logs, or make a false insurance claim, or exaggerate on a resume. There are laws and policies in place to protect us against such falsehoods, and we take them very seriously.
Note: This article is part of a series on Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in Business. The other articles can be found here:
Yet at the same time, in our culture today (even among business people), there’s a widespread belief that truth is relative; that no absolute truth exists. “You’ve got your truth, and I’ve got mine, and they may not agree.” This self-defeating worldview absolutely destroys business relationships.
Truth is the foundation for trust, and trust is what makes business relationships possible. Without shared truth, business becomes completely unworkable. “How can I ever trust that person if they don’t believe in truth? Or if I don’t know that their ‘truth’ matches mine?”
In sharp contrast to this, a Christian business has a solid foundation for truth, and trust.
Truth is objective
The Bible tells us that God is the source of all truth. He cannot lie (Titus 1.2; Rom 3.4), He is the truth (Jn 14.6). His word is truth (Jn 17.17).
This means absolute truth does exist. There is a true reality, outside of any human perceptions or experiences or opinions.
As God’s creatures, our responsibility is to imitate Him by telling the truth to one another (Ex 20.16). A Christian business should therefore seek to be truthful in all its dealings.
A business that glorifies God tells its clients the truth, even when it hurts. It doesn’t use hidden fees, or deceptive advertising practices or contracts. It does what it agrees to, and does its best to meet deadlines. Maintaining the truth is more important to this business than making a buck. When it speaks, its yes means yes, and its no means no (Mat 5.37).
A business that acts this way is a business that can be trusted.
Christian businesses should therefore be the most trustworthy businesses on the planet. If Christian businesses would simply obey their Master, and act like Him, they would have a distinct advantage in the marketplace—trust. There really is no other sure foundation upon which to build.