Can I confess something to you? I don’t get why God did it. I don’t understand why He would create us knowing that we would rebel against Him. I’m grateful that He did, but it’s hard for me to fathom that depth of love. Like father, like son. Jesus, too, picked someone for his inner circle of twelve disciples that would betray Him.
If God and Jesus picked people that would betray them, it’s likely that we, as entrepreneurs, will pick people for our teams that will too. After all, we’re not perfect. It doesn’t look like that helps when it comes to picking people anyway.
Wait a minute! If they’re perfect, shouldn’t they be able to pick their people much better? Come to think of it. God has a pretty bad track record when it comes to His people turning their backs on Him.
Does God Know What He is Doing?
It’s certainly tempting to think this, isn’t it? We know from reading the Bible that He knows how it all ends, and His perfect will is being accomplished despite the chaos. Maybe He is trying to demonstrate something to those of us who are not perfect? What can we learn from being betrayed?
As entrepreneurs, what lessons are here for how we choose our own team members? I came up with the following three lessons.
Lesson #1 – It’s Not If, But When
The first lesson we can learn is that it will happen to you, and you will probably do it to someone too. Think of these occasions as opportunities.
Judas Iscariot was not the only disciple to turn on Jesus that fateful night. Peter denied knowing Christ three times to the point of cursing by the time he was finished. What was the difference between the two?
Peter asked for forgiveness, and Christ forgave him. Christ even gave Peter three opportunities to reaffirm his love for Christ. How will you act when an employee betrays you? Will you give them an opportunity to restore the relationship? How will that impact your business?
Lesson #2 – Keep Trusting in Your People
Accepting that your people will let you down at some point, it’s natural to try to protect yourself against it as much as possible. Trust, but verify. The Bible tells us to be “wise as serpents, but harmless as doves.”
Putting in policies and procedures to protect your business against fraud, theft, and employee misconduct are prudent steps to take. That being said, I’ve seen too many small business owners become paranoid about being betrayed.
Remember that you are only a steward of God’s resources. After you’ve taken reasonable steps to protect those resources, the rest is up to God. Keep trusting in your people. Believe for the best out of them.
Lesson #3 – Disagreements are Good for Business
Did Jesus know that Judas would betray Him when He chose Judas to be a disciple? God certainly did. Whether Jesus did or not is just speculation.
Judas was the holder of the purse – the treasurer of the disciples. It’s easy to imagine that he was one of those who complained when the woman anointed Jesus with expensive oil. Jesus used it as a teachable moment to remind them of what was coming.
Peter certainly provided Christ with several of these moments. When a team member expresses an opinion contrary to your own be thankful. Listen to them. It’s a chance for you to teach them or to be taught. Either way, it will strengthen your business.
Trusting People is Never a Mistake
When it’s all said and done, is it a mistake to trust people? Did Jesus really get it wrong? I guess it’s all a matter of how you look at it.
For me, I think the assumption that someone betraying you reflects on your ability to choose team members is flawed. There’s no way for you to fully inoculate yourself against it, except maybe become a hermit.
Have you been betrayed (or have you betrayed) someone in your business dealings? How did you handle it? What lessons did you learn from the experience?