Updated: Jan 6, 2021
Have you ever been pitched something in your business that, half way through the call, you know you’re not going to purchase, and you let them finish the entire presentation and at the end say “let me think about it?”
I’ve done this, I believe, my whole business life. I feel bad saying “no thank you”. In reality, I’m a liar. I just told a big, fat lie. I’ve made up my mind already, I don’t want that product or service. In fact, the conversation should have ended minutes ago, I wasted both of our time.
I guess I’m trying to be polite and let the man finish. I think maybe my mom engrained in me that it’s rude to cut someone off or to say no.
But now I’m learning the opposite is true, and in fact, it’s biblically true.
Little white lies are often told to preserve the peace, as if telling the truth would in some way destroy peace. Yet the Bible presents truth and peace as existing together: “Love truth and peace” (Zechariah 8:19). Tellers of white lies believe they are speaking lies out of “love”; however, the Bible tells us to speak “the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
Sometimes telling the truth in business is not easy; in fact, it can be downright unpleasant. But we are called to be truth-tellers. Being truthful is precious to God (Proverbs 12:22); it demonstrates the fear of Lord.
I’m working to become a lot more confident in myself. Not arrogant, confident. Franklin Roosevelt said “Confidence…thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance.”
A dishonest businessman is full of rot and will be exposed, causing you great embarrassment. It is not a question of “if” but “when” you will be exposed. The writer of Proverbs exalts the virtue of honesty. Where does honesty rank in your set of values? I am ashamed to admit that I have often struggled with being honest. Maybe you have failings in this area of your life too.
This salesman I tried to fool called me out on it the next call we had. He straight up told me that if I wasn’t interested, I should not have lied and said “I’ll think about it.”
He was right. I felt so small, so dishonest.
I vowed to change that from that conversation on. What an embarrassment when the truth was revealed. I choose to never let that happen again.
Once you are proven to be dishonest, it is difficult to regain the trust of others; difficult, but not impossible.
Confess your lie immediately or take back what was stolen. Don’t let it go uncorrected or it will fester and become a “rotten stench” in your character. Face up to your sin and admit that it is wrong. That is the pathway to healing and restoration. There is nothing so pure and strong as a man with a clear conscience.
Godpreneur Rule: Determine that honesty will be a hallmark of your business life and pay scrupulous attention to maintaining it at all times, no matter what the cost.