It has probably been suggested to you at some point that you should imagine the end of your life, attending your own funeral. In most cases, the reason likely involves some sort of goal setting or life planning process. I am going to make the same suggestion today, but for a very different reason. Have you witnessed your own death?
Turn on the news and you are likely to see any number of examples of celebrities, politicians, or others who have fallen from grace due to some sort of scandal or newly-exposed hypocrisy in their actions or beliefs. It is one reason I avoid the news for the most part. However, Christian business leaders can learn a lesson from what we see on the news and we had better take it to heart!
I recently participated in a conversation that caused me to stop and reflect on a topic with which I am intimately familiar – ME! I examined my own qualifications, track record, potential, and hope for the future. I will openly admit that it was not the kind of reflection I enjoy. While it was not all bad, it forced me to recognize that I have fallen short of my own expectations in several areas of my life. If you have ever felt this way before, I encourage you to read on for a simple, but real solution!
I was 13 years old, working for my father in the Parts Department of our family automobile business. Surrounded by grown men, mostly auto technicians, I was eager to fit in. I desperately wanted to shed the image of the typical “boss’s kid.” Unfortunately, at an inopportune moment, I did not expect my father to appear. My reaction was predictable!
I had recently been initiated into an ongoing game between the technicians and the parts employees. The technicians took their grease rags, balled them up, and wrapped them in tape. Anytime a parts employee left the window open between the two departments, the technicians would bomb the opening with rag balls.
Are you prepared to make the decision to die for Jesus daily? Have you thought about the kind of gun-to-the-head situation that many Christians discuss as a way to test your true faith? Have you really prepared yourself for that possibility?
Most of us have not thought in depth about this. Maybe we have talked in one of our small group meetings about the future possibility of facing death for our faith. The truth is that most of us have no immediate threat of this facing us now or in the foreseeable future. Without an immediate threat, we really have no idea how we would react.
How would you respond if someone placed a gun to your head and asked, “Are you willing to die for Jesus?” If you are like most believers in Jesus, you want to say that you would remain faithful to Him to the end, regardless of the threat. The truth is that you probably do not know the answer. Until we are actually IN that position, it is next to impossible to know how we would respond.
For most Christians reading this article, the threat I just described is not one we will likely face in the near future, if at all. It is almost a worthless discussion since the threat is so removed from our current situations that we cannot know our heart on the matter.
It was about 15 years ago when I decided to quit my job to pursue Christian ministry. I had no idea what I would do next, but I had a new-found passion for God. I was determined to live my WHOLE life for Him. Like many other well-meaning Christians, I believed that meant I had to quit my job so I could pursue Christian ministry.
I was wrong.
Take a few minutes to stop and look around at the world we live in today. In doing this, you will see that there is no shortage of images that define success for us. Regardless of the category you choose, the world peppers you with its own definition of success. The problem is that Christians should be seeking a different kind of “success” altogether. So what IS it we should seek? How is Biblical success defined for us?