What’s the value of your word?
Some years back I happened to be seating in a board room where an intriguing conversation was going on. A CEO was telling us of a time when handshakes were how deals were done. Of course, the lawyers would come in afterwards and do the necessary paper work. But essentially, if a verbal commitment was given the deal stood exactly as discussed. Everything else was just a legal formality.
I couldn’t help but think then, and all the more, now, how much things have changed.
Over promising and under delivering is unfortunately all too common in the business world; whether it’s from a business to their clients, or within businesses, from employers to employees and vice versa. The bare-minimum-I-can-get-away-with culture abounds. In our struggle and desperation to make a good impression, we end up going overboard and biting off more than we can chew.
Believers are no exception here. If anything, we’re some of the biggest culprits. You would think that being known as a Christian professional or business would carry some weight of integrity, but often times it just amounts to being screwed over in the name of Jesus.
It’s one thing to say we’re Christian. But what is the testimony of our word in saying what we mean, meaning what we say and living out our word? Can people count on you as a believer when you give your word?
The weight of your word matters all the more in the realms of the spirit. I keep saying that while we may seemingly get away with lying to fellow human beings, we don’t have the same license with spirit beings – whether angels, demons, the devil or God Himself.
It is in the spirit where power and authority is transacted. Any power and authority we have in Jesus as believers is dependent on our integrity – on our submission to be led by Him in all things to do what is right and what is just. We cannot say we represent Christ or His kingdom if our actions are the very opposite of who He is.
This goes beyond what is legally acceptable. The laws of men and the requirements of God are not on equal scales. Yet there are plenty of instances of believers who hide behind what they can get away with legally notwithstanding the fact that what they’re doing is neither right nor just. Just because what you’re doing or not doing for that matter is legally permissible doesn’t automatically mean it’s okay in the eyes of God.
We say we believe in a God who keeps His word and faithfully fulfills His promises. Can the same be said of us and the way we do business?
As we make commitments in the workplace – whether big or small – know that your commitment and how you handle it is not just a reflection of you, it’s a representation of the God you say you serve. How you fulfill what you have promised says more about your love for God and for others than any Scripture you quote to your workmates.
At the end of the day, God will not hold you accountable for what someone else did or didn’t do. He’ll hold you accountable for you. So regardless of how others speak and act, my challenge to you is to raise your standard of integrity as a believer who is well aware of the Name they represent and the God behind that Name.
It takes one person to take a stand to create an environment that challenges others to do the same. May you be courageous and bold enough to be the one who makes that stand for integrity.
Are there any unfulfilled promises in your work life – past or present? Ask God to show you how you can make amends and make things right. Humble yourself and do as He requires of you.
As you make commitments in the present and future, be accountable to God first and human beings, second. Work as unto God and let your faithfulness to your word reflect His faithfulness to His.