(The following was originally published at CareyGreen.com.)
In Matthew 5:7, Jesus said:
“Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.”
But, what does this have to do with business? How can we apply this to our careers?
Well, firstly, we need to remember to have mercy towards our clients and customers. It’s just a fact of life (and business) that clients don’t always have their act together. They send important documents, contracts and other things late; they don’t always follow up on their end of agreements.
But, we – as Christ-followers – are supposed to be like Jesus in all aspects of our lives, including our careers. So, we need to be merciful to the people we interact with at work. Now, of course there are times when discernment plays its part and your recognize that certain clients are simply not a good fit and no amount of second or third chances will make a difference in that regard. But, even as you cut a client loose, be merciful in how you do it. Don’t do anything with a harsh attitude. Be gracious and kind at all times.Secondly, we need to be merciful toward employees and contractors. We’ve all made mistakes and have had on-the-job troubles. We need to recognize that while the people under our supervision or contract with may slip up now and again – just like we do – we need to be merciful when it inevitably happens. Again, there is also a point of responsibility that everyone needs to own, and the time may come when you may have to let someone go. But, even then, we Christians need to work hard to go overboard in being merciful so that we demonstrate Christ’s mercy to those who we deal with in our business efforts.
Finally, we need to learn to show mercy to ourselves. As entrepreneurs, we can be really hard on ourselves. If we miss a deadline, or fail to accomplish a goal altogether, or miss out on an opportunity, we can really beat ourselves up over it. Remember, God is the One who is sovereign. He’s the One who is ultimately in charge of your business. In fact, it is His business, when it comes down to it. So, when these tough moments happen, entrust them to Him and know that He is full of mercy – so you should have mercy on yourself as well.
This doesn’t mean that you can or should be lazy. It doesn’t’ mean that you should just take the day off when you should be working. But we all do need to learn to give ourselves a break and allow room for failure. That’s how we learn. That’s how we grow.