Forums Focus: A weekly blog to enlighten, encourage and equip Christian business leaders to lead in business using Biblical Business Principles.

Biblical Business Principles – Last week we focused on Financial Fitness in Business (Lending). Do you have consistent, fair policies and procedures for issuing credit? How do you measure faithfulness when making decisions to extend credit?

This week we will focus on Financial Fitness in Business (Collecting). If you extend credit, sooner or later you will face the issue of collecting overdue money. What are some Biblical Business Principles on collecting?

How far should we go in collecting? Should we sue? What if the other party is a Christian?

The Apostle Paul instructed the Christians – When you have something against another Christian, why do you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter, instead of taking it to other Christians to decide who is right? Don’t you know that someday we Christians are going to judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide these little things among yourselves? Don’t you realize that we Christians will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disagreements here on earth. If you have legal disputes about such matters, why do you go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these arguments? But instead, one Christian sues another — right in front of unbelievers! To have such lawsuits at all is a real defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? 1 Corinthians 6:1-7 NLT What does this say to you?

Jesus taught – “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the fault. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If that person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. If the church decides you are right, but the other person won’t accept it, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.” Matthew 18:15-17 NLT Have you ever followed this procedure? How did it work out?

Jesus also taught – Give what you have to anyone who asks you for it; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Luke 6:30 NLT Does this apply to business or just personal life?

Jesus went on to say, “Do for others as you would like them to do for you. Do you think you deserve credit merely for loving those who love you? Even the sinners do that! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, is that so wonderful? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, what good is that? Even sinners will lend to their own kind for a full return. Love your enemies! Do good to them! Lend to them! And don’t be concerned that they might not repay. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” Luke 6:31-36 NLT Can we trust God to make up the loss?

So, whether it is a Christian or a non-christian, you have a decision to make when needing to collect. Do you send the accounts receivables to a collection firm and wash your hands of it? Do you attempt to talk with the party and find out why they are not paying? Do you seek the Lord’s direction with respect to each debtor? Do you try to avoid these situations by verifying the faithfulness of a customer before agreeing to extend credit? Do you ask God for wisdom so you forgive when He wants you to, and you don’t enable the bad conduct that caused the customer to have the bad debt when God doesn’t want you to write it off?

The Business By The Book book by Larry Burkett lists three collection considerations: 1. Consider individual circumstances (why aren’t they paying); 2. Analyze your motives (you have a right to collect, but is this God’s will); 3. Be willing to forgive.

Do you consider each case as an opportunity to glorify God and to share the Best News in Life, the Gospel? Do you look at it as God’s money you’re collecting? (Some of you are not owners, therefore you are collecting other people’s money and therefore have stewardship responsibilities.)

Bit of Wisdom
Turn away from evil and do good. Work hard at living in peace with others. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.” Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t be afraid and don’t worry. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong! 1 Peter 3:11-17 NLT

Forums Ministry
Business By the Book Workshops are an excellent way to learn and review Biblical Business Principles. Prayerfully consider hosting a Business by the Book Workshop at your company or church?

BBB Groups help graduates of Business By the Book Workshops and Seminars apply Biblical Business Principles.

Forums Groups help one-another resolve difficult business issues using Biblical Business Principles through prayer, counsel, support, and accountability in a confidential closed group environment.

Business Leadership Forums are periodic events where business leaders share how applying Biblical Business Principles has impacted their business.

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Paul Lantz
Office & Cell 443-248-0377