Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men. Proverbs 22:29 (NKJV)
Last week I talked about what B4T is, today I wish to highlight 2 things that B4T is not:
· B4T is not about having an identity to relate to people.
· B4T is not about getting a visa so as to have a cover to share the Good News.
B4T is not about identity
For 6 years I worked as a T-5 or business “faker”. I had set up a representative office of a friends’ company in the USA and through this “shell company” I was able to get a visa and tell people I was “working” in the country. Nonetheless, Muslim friends would ask me;
“Where’s your office?”
“How come you are always at home?”
“Why don’t you have any co-workers?”
“Why do live here and not with the other business people in their neighborhood?”
I had answers for each of these questions, usually related to the slowness of the economy. However, my answers barely satisfied me and I learned later they certainly did not satisfy my friends or the government officials.
People do not judge us by our words, but by our actions. When they hear us saying we are doing business but never see us doing business, they quickly realize some thing is not right. Many years after I’d quit faking and had been running my real business, my close friend Tim, a local said to me, “My father warned me to keep away from you. He and his friends were certain you were with the CIA.” When I asked Tim, “Why would they think that?” He replied, “How else could you travel, have a new car, and never be working? You also always kept that room in your house locked and someone had to be paying you.”
I quickly learned that you cannot separate the message from the messenger. Because I was not trusted, people did not trust my words. When I began working, doing righteous, excellent work, suddenly my words took on a new meaning. When people saw that my life matched up with my words – they listened.
B4T is not about getting a visa
Zul was a young believer I was discipling. He hung out in our house. He had asked me the “Where is your office questions,” before he came to faith and I had given him my standard answers. Now as a baptized believer Zul was asking in my own home, “Patrick, why are you always home?” I turned to Zul, perhaps tired of living a partial lie and said, “Zul the truth is I have a registered business, I am here legally, but I do very little actual work for the business, I am here primarily to share the Good News with you and your friends.” His reply to me was, “So you lied.” This tore into my heart. I knew immediately I’d been living a lie. Scripture does not differentiate between partial lies or white lies. All my local friends saw it, only I was blinded to my lie by my supposedly good intentions to reach the people for Jesus.
Every B4T worker needs to be pursuing doing real business, hiring real employees, doing excellent work which glorifies God and lays the foundation through our works , for sharing the Good News with our words.