Too often in our trade, and in the trades in general, we work against each other instead of together. Somehow, the flawed logic of criticizing another tradesman is thought to make oneself appear stronger or superior.
In Matthew 7:3-5 NIV, Jesus spoke the following:
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
If another fellow tradesmen is doing wrong, let us not worry about their wrongdoing. Maybe someone is unethically charging for their service, maybe they are stealing your clients, or maybe they are unscrupulously recruiting your personnel. Truth and time line up, and when someone is doing wrong–in time it will always line up and they will be accountable. Maybe not in the timeline we see fit, but in time, it will be.
Sometimes, however, apparent wrongdoing by a fellow tradesman may not be wrong if you disagree. If someone is charging for their service more than your company, that is not wrong. If someone is legally and within the rules and laws of our governance running their business differently than you are–we should invest the energy in improving our own business instead of criticizing another. Furthermore, maybe if someone is doing something different than we are, possibly we should walk across the aisle or drive across town and ask if we could work together for the improvement and professionalism of our trade.
Finally, doing different and being different is just about guaranteed to be criticized. In fact scripture teaches us throughout the bible that we should expect criticism for doing right. Nearing his crucifixion, Jesus was being wrongly accused and responded ever so clearly.
23 Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.” 3 So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied.
While I am no bible scholar, and young in my faith–this is a profound response to extreme criticism and wrongful criticism at that. If we are doing right, let us not be concerned with others and instead work on working together. The simplicity and clarity of our response to whatever criticism lies in front of us should follow the example of the only perfect person that has walked before us.
As always, I welcome your input. If I can help you with anything, don’t hesitate to ask. If I do help you–all I shall ask is that you commit to working together in the trade and not against another tradesman.