So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10)
A business colleague of mine recently sat down at a conference to visit with a businessman who was a billionaire. While trying to carry on a genuine conversation to see how this man was really doing, other people kept coming up to interrupt the conversation with words like, “Hey Joe, how is the G150?” (that is the GulfStream private jet) and “Hey Joe, how is the new house in Maui?”
Joe had obviously made it according to the world’s standards. He had all the toys that were funded by his great business success, but his sad eyes indicated what he was really hungry for was the opportunity to really connect at a deeper level with another human being. In other words to love and be loved. The gentleman had not yet found a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He had a BIG hole in his heart and he probably did not understand what was really missing from his life!
So this story demands the question of all Christian Business Executives, “What are you REALLY working for?” Are you working just to pad your bank account, gain more toys, or for bragging rights at the next business cocktail party?” I sure hope not! Not that it is wrong to be wealthy or enjoy nice things, but if that is main your motive behind all your business efforts, then one day I think you will be really sad.
In the Scripture above we will all give an account for what we did in our lives including all of our business activities. Our work will be tested by The Lord with fire. The work that we did with the right motives to honor and glorify God will survive the flames and we will receive an eternal reward in Heaven that far surpasses all the wealth we could ever amass in our Fidelity or Vanguard Funds.
So let’ take a time out while we still have plenty of runway left in our careers and be totally honest with one another. “WHAT’S MY MOTIVE FOR WHAT I AM DOING IN MY COMPANY?” God sees our hearts. We might be able to fool other people or even ourselves, but we won’t fool God.
What are some good and Godly motives for going to work every day of which He would be proud ? One might be to show God we love Him by the way we love other people that He puts in our path in the marketplace. Is this easy? Heck No. But this is what He demands of us. To love others as we love ourselves.
Second, to build up the Kingdom of God in the marketplace. What does that look like? It means to be generous with your people and provide them with good pay and benefits based on their work contributions as well as sharing the business profits with those who earn them. (God is extremely generous with us!) It may also mean sowing some of your profits back into your community to help make the lives of other less fortunate people better or promoting the Word of God in your business. Why not make it easy for people to find Christ at your business even if they don’t go to a regular Church on Sunday. Did you realize that maybe your business is the closest they have ever come to attending a Church!
It may also mean surrendering your business to The Lord for His uses on a daily basis and encouraging others in your business to do same. Wow, this can be really hard to do because it says CEO on your business card! But in reality HE owns it all and we are merely the Servant Leaders He has appointed to lead and manage His companies on his behalf for a short season of time.
Have I pricked your conscience? I hope so because I want to help you give a GREAT stewardship report when you stand before the Bema Seat of Christ. After all we already know the question on the Final Exam. “WHAT did you do with what I gave you to steward at your business and WHY did you do it?
In response to what you will tell Him I want you to hear Christ say how pleased He is with you for what you did to serve Him in your business and then to enjoy His immeasurable rewards for all of Eternity !
Song lyrics from “What’s It All About, Alfie?” by Burt Bacharach
Is it just for the moment we live? What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie? Are we meant to take more than we give Or are we meant to be kind? And if only fools are kind, Alfie, Then I guess it is wise to be cruel And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie What will you lend on an old golden rule? As sure as I believe there’s a heaven above, Alfie I know there’s something much more, Something even non-believers can believe in I believe in love, Alfie Without true love we just exist, Alfie Until you find the love you’ve missed you’re nothing, Alfie When you walk let your heart lead the way And you’ll find love any day, Alfie.
Lane Kramer is Founder & President of The CEO Institute, a Dallas-based Christian Executive Development organization. See www.ceoinst.com for more details.