“The 10 Commandments…”
“The 10 Commandments in the Market Place.” Part 1
Author: Steve McMullen
In the aftermath of what has happened in our courts concerning
the Ten Commandments, I thought it proper to write what’s been
on my mind for some time, since the beginning of this whole
The Ten Commandments are central to our whole way of life here
in America. Yet so few can recite them, much less expound on their
ramifications to politics, commerce, or life in general.
The Ten Commandments guard and protect us.
We all have needs motivationally. On-line marketers know this
and prey on those needs by using them against you. Then, they encourage
you to do the same, while promoting their products as affiliates.
Knowing, understanding, and learning to recognize those needs in others,
makes you better equipped to serve in the market place.
# 1. YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GOD BEFORE ME.
This one guards and protects our need for significance. God said; “Let us
make man in Our image.” When God made you and I in His image, He
gave us our image and identity.
Our significance comes in large part, from where we get our identity. If we
came from apes, as some want us to believe, then our significance is greatly
But if we were made after the image of God, that puts things in a different
light. Our significance is greatly increased. The number one addiction
of humans is an addiction to significance.
Whatever makes you fell significant is what you worship! If money makes
you feel significant, then you worship money; if power, then power; etc.
How is this applied in the market place?
Sales are about meeting needs. One of which, is to feel significant. So the
question becomes: how can God, through you, make this person feel
Make an effort to greet each and every client. You must make them feel like
they are highly valued. Use first names whenever possible. Be attentive to
the clients words and actions.
Looking for simple ways to make people feel significant can return
great dividends, and that is our purpose in the market place. To make
people feel significant, and return with great dividends.
Don’t underestimate the need for significance! When we are late to return
calls, miss appointments, or simply do not pay attention to what clients
say, we will make those people feel insignificant. The result is a loss in
# 2. YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FOR YOURSELF ANY GRAVEN
IMAGE TO WORSHIP OR SERVE.
This commandment guards and protects our need for authority.
We were created to be in authority over some things, while always
being under the authority of God. This is a very important boundary.
The key to having authority is to be under authority. When we
choose to not be under authority, we lose our legitimate authority.
Understanding the principles of authority allows us to work within
God’s order of establishment. We must honor and respect other peoples
How do we apply this in the market place?
We gain favor in the market place when we understand and respect
authority. It is important to learn this. We are all created with authority,
and our prospective clients were also created with authority.
If we have the authority to sell an item, and they have authority to
purchase said item, then we must respect that authority, each of us
in our place.
When we recognize their legitimate authority, it enhances their
sense of significance, and that opens doors in the market place.
Too often, people in sales do not respect the buyers authority, leading
to the loss of a sale.
OK! Now we will continue with something that some people will
feel a bit touchy about. But realizing that the 10 Commandments
are part of God’s word (the Bible).
Many say that the word is a double edged sword. It cuts both
ways, for us and against us. Yet my experience has been that
when I felt the cutting, it was for my good, even if it didn’t
feel good at the time. So, let’s continue the series.
# 3. YOU SHALL NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD YOUR GOD IN VAIN.
This is generally regarded as refraining from profanity.
I believe it goes far beyond that. It protects our need for
honor. We have been wired for a need for honor. In Proverbs,
God promised that humility and the fear of the Lord would
bring riches, honor and life.
Too often, people apply God’s name to their ventures. Then
when it all comes apart, guess what? That brings God and
How is this applied in the marketplace?
We need to understand, that when people feel they are
significant to you, they are much more likely to cooperate
with you. Ask God “How can I honor my customers in a way that
glorifies Him and helps them feel significant?”
We can begin by avoiding the common practice of using their
name in vain. Example: We tell them how much they need
what we have to sell, and how much better off they will be
if they have it. Meanwhile, all we are thinking of is the
commission we will make off this sale, never really stopping
to think of their needs.
That is dishonoring them, pretending to put them first,
when we are actually putting ourselves first. They can
detect this, and often do, closing doors in the marketplace.
Everyone has a need to be honored.
# 4. REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY TO KEEP IT HOLY.
Everyone of us (though some don’t think so) needs rest. Jesus said
“Man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man.”
The need for rest goes beyond the physical, it also has an
With rest comes peace, we calm our spirits resting, often
thinking clearer afterwards. Are we respectful of our
customers’ family time, their time of rest? Do we give
them tight deadlines before we take back our offer?
There is another point to this, how its applied in the marketplace!
Is our line of work adding to, or taking away, our customers’
peace of mind? Does our product put our clients in bondage,
taking their rest and peace? If so, maybe we should find
another line of products to sell.
This one is more important than it seems. If selling is about
meeting needs, then we need to acknowledge the real need for
rest and peace of mind.
When we sell high dollar items, that makes for high risk. We
could include extended warranties, refunds, replacements, etc.
You can increase your customers’ peace of mind by fully
understanding the long term benefits of your product line.
Peace of mind is something God sanctions.
Now we come to honor and murder, the next two commandments
within the 10 Commandments. I often times wondered about the
order God gave to the commandments, but as I did this study
I saw that there is always a reason for everything He does.
Now with these two commandments, I need to state a small
disclaimer. I’m not a theologian, there are other
applications to these commandments. God gave them
to us over 3000 years ago. They mean what they say. They
can be applied to every aspect of life, but in this series,
they are only being applied to the marketplace. That’s not to
say I don’t have other applications for them in my life.
They benefit me nearly every day in many ways.
# 5. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.
This commandment guards and protects our need for security.
We grow up under parents and authority, we were wired with
a need to feel secure.
Our father and mother gave us security, and with that we were able
to mature into fathers and mothers. We in turn give that security to
Would you look out from a balcony 100 floors up with no railing?
The average person won’t go near the edge. Yet put up a secure
railing, and people will fearlessly lean out over it.
They have their security.
How do we apply this in the Marketplace?
The purpose of a balcony is to be able to step out
and take in the view, but if you don’t step out you don’t
get the full benefit of the view. First put up a railing, you then
have the security to to step out and receive the benefits.
When we understand peoples need for security, we can then
take adequate steps in anticipation of that need. We make
them feel secure by our recognizing their natural insecurities.
In doing this we have also enhanced their need for
significance, which is protected by the first commandment.
For example, you have a prospect that seems to be
reluctant to take the next step. They show interest, but
also show that they are insecure with your offer.
Because you know about his/her need to security (and believe
this commandment is here for that purpose), you also know to
show your prospect the railing – your money back guarantee;
your free support 24/7; or whatever your railing is.
Then you are much more likely to have a successful sale.
# 6. You Shall not Murder.
Hate is always the core of murder. The opposite of hate and
rejection is love and acceptance, which is what this
commandment guards and protects.
What is love?
Jesus said “Greater love has no man than he lay down his life
for a friend.” Webster’s dictionary says, “To feel a passion,
devotion, or tenderness for” amongst other meanings of the
How do we apply this commandment in the marketplace?
Love is demonstrated every time we yield our rights to benefit
others. Temporarily laying down a little of our life to enhance
the lives of others. That’s called service!
Not only the service that is their right, but a little of our
rights too. You say “This sounds outrageous!” Yes, it is!
It’s God’s way, He served us by laying down his life for us.
That kind of service will bring customers back time and time again.
Acceptance, being the opposite of rejection, is very important.
All too often in marketing, we feel we need to persuade people
to think and feel like we do. I think that is due, in a large part, to a
misunderstanding of what acceptance really is.
When we accept people with differing opinions, that leads to
dialog, which in turn leads to understanding. Only then is there
a good chance for cooperation. Cooperation is one of the foundations
to conducting successful business.
So we see that love and acceptance, being the opposite of
hate and rejection, are two great assets to our marketing.
We must understand that these are core needs that God
wired us with. This commandment then, is very valuable to us.
It seems that governments all over the world are passing laws
against religion. Just this past month, France passed laws
concerning the wearing of crosses, Jewish hats and Muslim Veils.
They said it was in an attempt to fight terrorism, by striving for
a more tolerant culture.
Yet real tolerance is obtained through the opposite action, by
granting freedom to wear our religious clothing as we believe.
These next two commandments seem to be the two that are the
most abused in the market place. As I stated in past issues,
the Bible means what it says. But often times it has additional
deeper meaning for specific issues.
All one needs to do is to meditate on the word and ask God to
reveal wisdom concerning that passage, for that circumstance.
# 7. YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.
From the lowest laborer to the highest political power, it
appears that this is one commandment where people believe God
got it wrong.
Everywhere we look, there are relationships going on that
should not be. Worse yet, even while a person is in the midst of
an adulterous relationship, they justify it.
If they would only meditate on the Living Word and see some
of the wisdom that lies deeper! They would begin to understand
why this commandment is there and that it has great value.
This commandment guards and protects our need for preference.
It is quite obvious in meaning, but the implications are
When we marry, we are to forsake all other romantic loves and
prefer our spouse over everyone else. That means we give our
God made us with a need of wanting to be preferred.
How can we apply this commandment in the marketplace?
We all have a need to feel preferred. Who among us doesn’t
want to be loved by someone in a special way that supercedes
In a lesser way, who wouldn’t enjoy feeling preferred as a
special customer? Of having a special relationship with a
Businesses experience large income increases using just this
same idea. Look at Sam’s Club, with your Sam’s card you are an
“Advantage” member and receive special member benefits.
Airlines make use of this in their frequent-flyer programs.
It’s all about preference, which is a powerful way to develop
customer loyalty and to win a place of achievement in the
When we prefer our spouse over all others, we win a special place
in their heart and life, earning a loyal companion for life.
In the same manner, we can earn loyal customers in the marketplace.
# 8. YOU SHALL NOT STEAL
We all know what stealing is, but in the marketplace there are gray
areas that both customer and vendor don’t see clearly.
Thievery often goes way beyond plain out and out stealing.
God wired us all to have the need to acquire. This commandment
guards and protects this need. Thievery cuts far deeper than our
need to acquire, as it steals away from our other needs.
Recall those other needs which are covered by the earlier
commandments: honor, respect, security, etc.
Our customers sense that their need to acquire is threatened
by your padding of the bill. Or in the case of an online sale,
you might use their personal information for purposes not stated
in their agreement with you.
That is theft, even if we don’t want to look at it as such.
That is when we have lost the right to their business. That is
when we have lost the right to even look at ourselves
and feel good about what we’ve done.
We must always find ways to supply our customers with the
things they want to acquire, using honesty and integrity.
Then, and only then, have we honored this commandment.
Just because others say “That’s business!” doesn’t make it
right. I think some fool thought that up just to excuse
his actions in the marketplace.
Even a little child knows – if he takes a toy from another child
and you question him, he will lie and say he had it first.
In understanding our hardwired need to acquire, we must ask
ourselves: “In my business dealings, how can I legitimately
tap into this need to acquire, and sell my product or service,
and yet at the same time not dishonor my customer’s need to acquire?”
We now come to the last two commandments, Out of all the 10
these two are commandments that only you and God can really
know if you ever brake them.
Another way of putting that would be the keeping of these
two commandments is where our inner person is really tested
# 9. YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS
AGAINST YOUR NEIGHBOR.
This commandment guards and protects our need to understand and
be understood.It might seem to be one of the easiest commandments to live up to. Yet it’s one of the hardest.
It’s so easily to make a truthful statement, while deliberately
conveying a lie. In the marketplace it’s not only very important
to tell truth, but to tell the whole truth.
We need to practice full disclosure. Often times when we withhold
information, that leads to the customer to being mislead. Without
our need to say anything false. But in reality it’s the same. We
have mislead our customer. Boar false witness!
# 10. YOU SHALL NOT COVET.
Once again I believe God wrote these commandments in an order
which is correct. This being the last of the 10 covers a lot of
uncovered areas of the marketplace.
We are guarded and protected by this one in our need to be
contentment. Contentment being, satisfied with what we do have.
Covetousness being, you think you’d be satisfied with what someone