BETA

Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women

Archive for May, 1995

Wednesday, May 31, 1995

GUARD YOUR HEART

Good Morning!

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”  (Prov. 4:23a)

Ah, the “heart“…that is where our problems lie, is it not?

The heart here represents your ethical center, your intellectual center: What you think, what is going on with your will, your perceptions of yourself and your knowledge of God.

The condition of your heart is critical because what goes on there determines  the course of your life.

So…guard what is happening in your heart with all diligence.

Picture your physical heart pumping blood through the arteries to the extremities of the body.  The health of the heart determines the health of the body.

So it is with your spiritual heart.  What goes on there affects all the extremities of your life.

Want to keep your heart pure?  Than check your actions in three areas:

(1)  Your speech:

Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put devious lips far from you.”   (Prov. 4:24)

QUESTION:  Is your speech truthful? Straightforward?…Or misleading?

(2)  Your eyes:

Let your eyes look directly ahead, and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.”  (Prov. 4:25)

QUESTION:  Are you looking only at things that enhance your mind and your morals?  …Or do you have wandering eyes?

(3)  Your path:

Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established.  Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil.”  (Prov. 4:26)

QUESTION:  Are you only going to places that keep your heart pure…Or are you drifting into questionable areas?

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, May 24, 1995

QUESTION: ARE WE INCLINED TO DICTATE THE WILL OF GOD TO GOD?

Good Morning!

The Disciples had this problem:

  •  The twelve disciples tell Jesus to get rid of the wearisome multitudes:

“And when it was evening, the disciples came to Him, saying, ‘The place is desolate, and the time is already past; so send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves

but Jesus said…”+ 

  • The disciples, instruct Christ to free themselves of a woman clamoring for the healing of her daughter:

“…His disciples came to Him and kept asking Him, saying, ‘Send her away, for she is shouting after us.’ 

But (Jesus) answered and said…”+

  •  Peter tells Christ he will not allow Him to go to the cross:

God forbid it, Lord!  This shall never happen to You

But (Jesus) turned and said…”+

In each instance, the disciples, in telling Jesus what He should do, were opting for personal comfort over sacrificial love.  Finally, on the heels of the third exchange, Christ reminds them,

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.”+

QUESTION:  Is it possible that we, like the disciples,  when faced with the choice between personal comfort and sacrificial service, tend to selfishly choose personal comfort, even to the point of prescribing the will of God to Jesus Christ?

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, May 17, 1995

PERHAPS WE HAVE BEEN TO NICE TO OUR LOST FRIENDS in trying to “win” them to Christ.

Good Morning!

It is just possible that unwittingly we have propagated a “cheap grace” in attempting to appeal to people primarily on the basis of “felt needs and presenting a “respectable” Gospel rather than simply communicating the Message.

What those outside of Christ need to understand is:

God loves them, but they are hopelessly lost.  They must repent of their rebellion against a holy God, and receive Christ as their only hope of salvation.  Otherwise, they will surely perish.  

But because we don’t want to offend people and because we don’t want to be rejected, we often attempt to make the Gospel more savory. Yet Paul spoke of the “offense of the crossand the fact that the “preaching of the cross is foolishnessto those who are perishing. (Eph. 5:11; I Cor. 1:18)

We also run the risk of weakening the Gospel in defending it rather than simply declaring it.  The Gospel needs no defense.  What it needs is declaration.

For most non-believers, the battle lies not in  their intellect, but their will. Many perceive the price tag for faith as simply too high as it might just cost them their family, their career…their friends.

Soren Kierkegaard certainly was correct in asserting that the gospel “is hard to believenot because it is hard to understand , but because it is hard to obey.” 

So “our task is to make the faith intelligible but not more credible or palatable, for only the Spirit does that.”+

Therefore, let’s love our lost friends enough to be willing to suffer rejection.  Let’s love them enough to be willing to offend them, if that is what it takes to get them into the Kingdom.

And then leave the mysterious work of conversion to God!

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, May 10, 1995

COMPASSION – A rather unsettling idea for people in a hurry…

Good Morning!

How does a person feel compassion when he is cruising above it all in the fast lane:  Scurrying secretaries, board meetings, flights to catch, weighty decisions to make.

Compassion is for people with time on their hands!

Jesus however, had time for compassion.  He felt people’s needs and was deeply moved by them.  And ended up feeding the hungry hoards and lovingly healing society’s castoffs.  (Matt. 9:36; Mk. 1:41-42)

But the disciples, like me, were rather annoyed by the heaving masses and the dirty lepers, who today are those frumpy, disheveled types with grubby beards, bratty kids, delinquent mortgage payments, dented cars and boisterous wives.

People surviving around the fringes of the American Dream and out of sync with the rest of us.   People with whom I have nothing in common.

Do I have tolerance for them?  Possibly.  Do I feel compassion for them?  Hardly.

In fact, if I am really honest, those people clutter up my landscape.  But, because of my affluence, my education…really, because of my privileged position in society, I am able to avoid and insulate myself from them.

And…If I care to admit it, the way I deal with them is to be polite, but never get involved.

Could it be that the greatest plague today is not AIDS or inner city crime, or even the starving masses in some third world countries, but “our lack of love and charity, the terrible indifference towards one’s neighbor who lives at the roadside assaulted by exploitation, corruption, poverty and disease?”+

Calvary love leaves me no option but compassionate involvement:

Jesus, while eating with the prostitutes and the city’s lowlife, instructed the censoring religious types,

“…Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  (Matt. 9:13)

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, May 3, 1995

CODE OF ETHICS

Good Morning!

Again, the gnarly challenge of ethics in business. I thought you might appreciate seeing The McDonnell Douglas Corporation’s Code of Ethics.  Lots of Biblical truth here:

Integrity and ethics exist in the individual or they do not exist at all.  They must be upheld by individuals or they are not upheld at all.  In order for integrity and ethics to be characteristic of McDonnell Douglas, we who make up the corporation must strive to be:

  • Honest and trustworthy in all our relationships.
  • Reliable in carrying out assignments and responsibilities.
  • Truthful and accurate in what we say and write.
  • Cooperative and constructive in all work undertaken.
  • Fair and considerate in our treatment of fellow employees, customers, and all other persons.
  • Law abiding in all our activities.
  • Committed to accomplishing all tasks in a superior way.
  • Economical in utilizing company resources.
  • Dedicated in service to our company and to improvement of the quality of life in the world in which we live.”

“Integrity and high standards of ethics require hard work, courage, and difficult choices...Integrity and ethics may sometimes require us to forgo business opportunities.  In the long run, however, we will be better served by doing what is right rather that what is expedient.”

I am reminded of Proverbs 14:34:

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!