Can we help? PASTOR & MRS BANDA
I AM a mother of three. In order to assist my husband make ends meet I keep chickens for sale. The problem I have is that a number of my church mates who get my chickens on credit do not want to pay for them. It is very clear that they want me to give them free chickens or to sell them at a discount. When I ask them to pay what they owe me they seem to be upset and paint me out to be a difficult person. How can I run my business without losing my friends? Betsie.
Let us start by saying that it is criminal for anyone to try and get something for free which other people have sweated and paid for.
Unfortunately this is a common attitude in many people in our country and it has contributed to many businesses collapsing and consequently our country failing to prosper as it should. This negative attitude needs to be addressed very seriously.
The problem you have shared is not a new one. The Bible addresses it in many various places and in different ways.
From the word go human beings were meant to earn their living by working.
In Genesis 2 after God created Adam, in verse 15 we are told that he placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and to keep it.
In Genesis 3.17-19 after Adam and Eve sinned against God, as a punishment, earning a living became harder work. This is because, the Bible tells us, God cursed the ground. We must all sweat in order to earn a living.
The New Testament and the Apostle Paul have a lot to teach us about idleness and hard work.
Although he had every right to be supported as a preacher of the gospel, he often forewent this privilege in order to teach the church the need to earn oneâ€™s own living.
Talking to the Ephesian church elders this is what he said in Acts 20:33-35 ESV I coveted no oneâ€™s silver or gold or apparel. (34) You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. (35) In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, â€˜It is more blessed to give than to receive.â€™â€
And after he learnt that some people were idling their time away at Thessalonica he had very tough words for them. 2Thessalonians 3:10-12 ESV. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. (11) For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. (12) Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
All this shows us that God wants us to work for our food and not to depend on hand outs.
You therefore have a very strong basis from which to talk to your friends.
Take time to educate them on the nature of business. In order to raise your chickens you need to pay for a lot of things. You pay for the chicks; for electricity; for water; for feed; for medicines; for labour; for the premises. Debt collection is equally an expense as you have to make phone calls or to travel to follow up those who owe you.
They need to understand furthermore that one chicken that you produce is not all profit. In fact only a very small portion of it is profit. The rest of it needs to be ploughed back into the business. Failure to plow back will see you begin to fail to have enough money to buy all the necessary inputs. This will compromise both the quality and the quantity of your chickens. It will just be a matter of time before your business completely collapses.
Remind them that a business has a life of its own apart from the life of the owner. It is governed by its own rules and principles which must never be violated.
Finally, by showing your friends the need to pay for the chickens and showing them that it is irresponsible for them not to, you are been a very good friend to them! A good friend is not one who tells us what we want to hear but one who tells us the truth in love no matter how painful!
If you differ over an important issue in courtship, address it. Do not ignore or sweep it under the carpet.
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Can we help? PASTOR & MRS BANDA