The importance of Integrity for Christians in business. One of the most obvious characteristics of a Christian in business should be integrity. Unfortunately, too many Christian business owners and Christian employees fall into the commonly accepted trap of “graying” the line between right and wrong. If you’re a Christian in business, and you’re concerned about what kind of witness you make for Jesus, you’ll want to closely guard the level of integrity in your life, both at home and in the marketplace.
According to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia integrity is “the basing of one’s actions on an internally consistent framework of principles.” This means that living with integrity ensures that everything you do and believe is “based on the same core set of values.”
What are our core values as Christians? There are many we could choose, but the Ten Commandments give us a good starting point. Put God first. Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain. Don’t lie, steal, commit adultery, etc.
So, to live with integrity means that–if you believe it’s wrong to steal–you NEVER steal. Not even a pencil from the office supply cabinet at work, or an added hour of time from your client. Or if you believe it’s wrong to lie, you NEVER lie. Not even a “little white lie” as to why you missed your latest deadline or why you came into work late *again.* (This doesn’t mean you have to be so brutally honest you hurt someone’s feelings by telling her that her new haircut really looks horrible!) Or if you believe you shouldn’t use the Lord’s name in vain, you NEVER use the Lord’s name in vain. Not even when someone makes you really angry. It means that you do what is right because it’s right… even it’s uncomfortable, or even painful, for you.
For Christians, living with integrity is absolutely essential. Integrity ensures you have a solid witness with your family, friends and business associates. Integrity gives you credibility in all areas of your life. And integrity is what will help convince your non-Christian friends and loved ones of your sincerity when you share the gospel with them.
Are you living with integrity? Here are a few examples of what “lagging” integrity looks like.
Do you ever…
* “borrow” money or supplies from an employer or client?
* “forget” to include some of the income you earned on your tax return?
* take longer lunch periods than you’re allowed without permission or charge a client for time not actually worked?
* pad your expense report with unauthorized charges?
* use a company-assigned vehicle for personal use?
If you see any of these actions in your own life, begin immediately to correct those behaviors. Allowing your integrity to falter in even the smallest aspect of your personal or business life harms your Christian witness among your clients, co-workers, family and friends. Not to mention the hurt it brings to our Heavenly Father.
Marcia Ripperger is a work at home mom and grandmother in Minnesota. She is the owner of a Christian Work From Home Moms and Grandparents web site at Faithful Grannies and WAHM Choices (Work At Home Mom Choices). Bringing generations of Christian Work From Home Moms, Grandmothers, Parents, Boomers and Families together while providing resources, jobs,and inspiration while balancing the work at home experience. She holds a degree in business and is CMOM certification.
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