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Attributes to Not Look for in a Potential Business Partner

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14

Are you taking another step in the consideration of a potential business partner?

You have prayed about what God means about being “yoked together” and are either not yet sure if that refers to a business relationship and/or what you should be considering as “business partner qualities.” Although God may not specifically say whether we should have a non-Christian partner, He does give us things to seriously consider in His Word about what He values and what He does not.

In my physiotherapy practice, we receive many requests from students wanting to volunteer. They want to learn more about the profession and, if they are applying for university entrance into the physiotherapy program, they will want a reference. When we interview them, we explain if they do want a reference, there are certain areas we will be asked about and upon which we will need to rate them on. We give them a list of areas such as communication, initiative, integrity etc. we will need to rate them on compared to other students. Therefore, we can provide a reference according to the indicators they demonstrate while they volunteer with us.

Similarly, you must have a list of characteristics which are important to you in a potential business partner. As God’s Word says a lot about what He values (and what He does not value), this will give you direction and wisdom as you prayerfully consider partnership.

Below, I share a 17 item “check-list” of attributes which may be warning signs of what might be a focus or way of business that may not be compatible with your values. This list is found in Proverbs. I encourage you to prayerfully read the full book, as partnership is an important decision to make and there is much wisdom in Proverbs to consider.

Take time to honestly answer the following with a “Yes,” “No” or “Maybe.” Add them up at the end to see whether you can: 1. answer them and 2. if there are any you answered with a “Yes” or “Maybe” which would be of a concern.

When Looking at a Potential Partner, Does He/She Have Any of the Following Indicators

  • Being lazy?

Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. Proverbs 10:4

  • Being violent?

Blessings crown the head of the righteous, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked. Proverbs 10:6

  • Being in the middle of a lot of conflict?

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. Proverbs 10:12

  • Being slanderous?

Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool. Proverbs 10:18

  • Being dishonest?

The Lord detests dishonest scales but accurate weights find favor with Him. Proverbs 11:1

  • Being prideful?

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

  • Being a gossip?

A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret. Proverbs 11:13

  • Being impulsive?

Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense. Proverbs 12:11

  • Being a liar?

Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. Proverbs 12:19

  • Being haughty?

Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. Proverbs 18:12

  • Being a poor listener?

To answer before listening— that is folly and shame. Proverbs 12:13

  • Being hasty without having the facts?

Desire without knowledge is not good—how much more will hasty feet miss the way. Proverbs 19:2

  • Mocking others?

Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Proverbs 9:7

  • Speaking foolishly?

The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin. Proverbs 10:8

  • Taking bribes?

A bribe is seen as a charm by the one who gives it; they think success will come at every turn. Proverbs 17:8

  • Starting arguments?

Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. Proverbs 17:14

  • Not listening to others?

Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. Proverbs 18:2

There are reasons why God says what He does in His Word. He wants to protect us from making decisions which may be harmful to us and/or cause us hardship. He has given us much direction in His Word about what is right and what is wrong, what is healthy and what is unhealthy, and what is potentially a harmful choice.

Make sure your decisions are based on prayerfully knowing and applying God’s Word.

May God richly bless you this week!

Bonny, Christian Women at Work


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