Is Success Hazardous To Our Spiritual Health?
May 30, 2014
It can be, if our priority is about acquiring the things the world chases. Fruitfully stewarding the resources and opportunities the Lord entrusts to us stands in stark contrast to our culture's mindset: "he who dies with the most accumulated toys and possessions, wins."
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: "...do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink...or what you shall wear. Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes? ...but seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness..." (Mt 6:25-33).
God has called us Christian business leaders to a challenging assignment that, at times, seem personally costly and painful. It reflects a spiritual paradox: the easier it gets to obtain worldly treasures, the harder it is to resist its accompanying temptations.
But leadership in God's kingdom is a sacred trust; nothing we do or say is unimportant. When our lives and actions demonstrate our trust in God and express His values and character, we honor Him and are in a position to see the fruits of our commitment, both spiritually and professionally.
C12 member companies understand this unique calling and responsibility. They learn to see the fruits of business excellence in eternal terms and lead their firms in such a way to increasingly share Christ's love with stakeholders in tangible ways that result in salvations, discipling, and service to those in need. A recent national survey of C12 members revealed that even during a weak economy, they sharply outperformed their markets with 79% outpacing their peers and just 1% underperforming the competition. Nationally, C12 members touch nearly three percent of the U.S. adult population annually and were privileged to see more than 4000 salvations and to give more than $150 million to support Christian ministry through their marketplace efforts.
The key to real success is living an integrated Christian life every day. Robert Barker, President of the Bob Barker Company, understands that living a dualistic lifestyle as a Christian makes it highly unlikely that we’ll be seen as modeling God's ways at all by those closest to us.
Over the years, in vastly different ways, both the Founder and the CEO of The C12 Group - America's leading equipper of Christian CEOs - came to recognize the vital importance of living one integrated and transparent life under the lordship of Christ. Such 24/7 integrity is necessary as an act of worship. They also came to see business as a large and ripe mission field in which they spoke the language, had routine contact with non-Christians, and had both God-given positional authority and a strong platform from which to be a blessing to thousands.
Being ministry-minded as a follower of Christ doesn't mean that we stop leading our business, making daily calls and decisions, or dealing with various stakeholders in order to go off somewhere else to model God's character and ways. We must use the gifts and opportunities He has given us, so He can reach others through us, where we've been planted as we conduct business.
So what are the attributes of godly character and how do we model them as we live out our integrated role as a Christian CEO or business owner? Obviously, demonstrating the highest standards of applied Biblical conduct in the midst of the daily battle - faith, justice, truth, ethics, honesty, integrity, humility, serving others, and excellence - is a good beginning. Here are five ways we can influence others toward more deeply considering God in Christ through business:
- Show our respect for Him. As Creator, Sustainer, Source of all truth, and Lover of our souls, our Lord is worthy of being first in our lives as we tangibly model His ways.
- Share openly about the time we spend with God and His Word. The time we spend with someone or something speaks volumes about what we truly value. Spending time with God and His Word serves to model what we value by how we prioritize our precious time.
- Honor our marriage relationship. Sharing a godly attitude toward marriage and how we conduct our marriage is a powerful influence, especially in today's politically-correct culture.
- Practice godly parenting. Our level of commitment to our families and parenting our children speaks volumes about our belief in God and His ways.
- Display godly attitudes towards money and worldly pleasures. In contrast to the lives of Biblical heroes, the "American dream" seeks worldly comfort and security, coupled with early retirement. If Christians, starting with leaders, don't stand up against selfish materialism, the world outside of Christ will never honor God's character and ways.
There are many worldly forces that will attempt to compete with God's ways and make our modeling of them more difficult, so we must be diligent and resolute in trusting in God and His Word. When this happens we must remember Jesus' example. He is our CEO role model. Jesus was unshakably committed to Biblical living, staying on mission, and honoring the Father. He was always talking about God, His kingdom, and His ways by "speaking the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15), just as He commands us today.
About the C12 Group
The C12 Group is America's leading executive roundtable for Christian CEOs and owners building great businesses for a greater purpose. C12 Members gather monthly for a unique, proven peer forum to engage in worthwhile continual learning, brainstorming, intentional accountability, and to share proven best practices, combined with eternal perspective. Members also receive monthly counsel through one-on-one sessions, an annual business review, and an online library of high-impact leadership tools. Founded in 1992 by Buck Jacobs, dedicated Christian author and CEO, C12's mission is to change the world by bringing forth the Kingdom of God in the marketplace through the companies and lives of those He calls to run businesses for Him.
Christian CEOs & Owners Building GREAT Businesses for a GREATER Purpose
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