Labor of Love
I had home renovations to be done recently and asked one of our members, Calvin Vernon, if he would contract the job. He said that he only worked for people he loved. I answered that I only hired workmen that I trusted so we got off on the right foot.
After weeks of dust and debris, not to mention thousands of dollars, Lise and I now have a remodeled home that is wonderful to live in. The entire experience has not only made me appreciate Calvin's great knowledge concerning the building process, it has also yielded a few rules to guide brothers in Christ who want to do business together:
Rule #1 – Expect Honesty, Not a Free Ride.
I told Calvin that I hired him because, as a Christian, I knew he would be fair and honest about the work and the price. Asking a fellow Christian to do work for you expecting that he'll do it at a discount or for free is not brotherly love, it's abuse.
I appreciated Calvin's work because he did it well. His integrity as a Christian businessman was a bonus ("…speaking the truth in Love..." Ephesians 4:15).
Rule #2 – Pay on Time.
Being a Christian does not entitle you to extended credit. When Calvin presented me with an invoice for time and materials I made sure that his check was ready. My trust in him precluded any snide remarks about over-charging or whining about the expense. His job, as contractor, was to do good work at a reasonable cost; my job as client was to show my appreciation and approval by paying my bill on time. ("Be not slothful in business…" Romans 12:11).
Rule #3 – Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.
The shower soap holders were a shade too dark and the job took longer than expected but renovations, like people, are not perfect. Working with an attitude of grace allows you to appreciate the good and not get mired in the flaws that every job has. I've found this to be a good approach for dealing with people as well as renovations. ("For in the way you judge you will be judged." Matthew 7:2).
In the end the house was not only renovated, it was revived and we truly enjoy our new surroundings. The best part, however, was the pleasure of experiencing the difference that is evident when doing business with a brother in Christ. Now if I could just get Calvin to start on my roof…!