BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for September, 1997

Wednesday, September 24, 1997

HOW AM I DOING IN EXPRESSING LOVE TO THOSE THE CLOSEST TO ME?

Good Morning!

“If I speak with the eloquence of men and of angels, but have no love, I become no more than blaring brass or crashing cymbal. 

“If I have the gift of foretelling the future and hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but the very secrets of God, and if I have also have absolute faith which can move mountains, but have no love, I achieve precisely nothing.

“This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience – it looks for a way of being constructive. 

“It is not possessive:  it is neither  anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance.

“Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage.

“It is not touchy. 

“It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people.  On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails. 

“Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything.

It is in fact the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.”+

 

 My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, September 17, 1997

DAILY, YOU ARE FACED WITH ISSUES THAT ARE IN TENSION WITH EACH OTHER. For example:

Good Morning!

  • Caring for people and yet seeking a profit.+
  • Living a life of humility and yet maintaining the drive necessary to achieve success.
  • Refraining from abusing your authority while maintaining justice.
  • Balancing family priorities and business responsibilities.
  • Handling personal possessions appropriately amidst a needy society.
  • Living as a citizen of God’s kingdom in an unethical environment.
  • Balancing personal drives with corporate demands.

Judicious answers to these  perplexing conflicts do not come easily. However in our quest for solutions, we can ask God for His wisdom:

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (Jms. 1:5)

The chart below may prove helpful in determining whether you are applying Divine or human wisdom. The “evidence” is derived from James 3:13-18:

 EVIDENCE OF GOD’S WISDOM:  EVIDENCE OF MAN’S WISDOM:
 Humility  Bitter envy: fury, indignation, jealousy
 Purity      Selfishness: contentious rivalry
 Peace    Boasting
 Sweetly reasonable   Denying the truth
 Satisfied with less than is due  Worldly minded: bestial nature 
 Full of mercy and good fruits   Earth-bound: sensual, demonic
 Impartial   Restlessness: confusion, disharmony, rebellion
 Free from insecurity  Instability
 Providing an atmosphere of peace where righteousness can be sown  Every base deed: evil and vile practices

                      

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, September 10, 1997

TEN QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE YOU DECIDE:+

Good Morning!

#1  WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS? Keep in mind that increased options increase your chance of being right.

#2  IS THIS MUTUALLY BENEFICIALTry not to make another person a loser when you make a decision: Win-win.

#3  WHAT’S THE RISKMake sure a temporary gain won’t be negated by a permanent loss.

#4  IS IT TIMELYKenny Rogers had it right when he sang, “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.”  You can improve your sense of timing by “disciplined imagination,” taking what you know in the present and projecting it  into the future.

#5  DO I HAVE STAYING POWEROnce you’ve made the decision, things are sure to get harder before they get easier.  Anticipate this and resolve to hang in there.

#6  WHAT ARE THE LONG-TERM RAMIFICATIONSEvery decision will have consequences.  Beware of decisions that make you indispensable.  “A litmus test of leaders may be how well the organization can run without them.”

#7  HAVE I BUILT IN ESCAPE HATCHESLeave a way to get out of a bad decision.  For example, when writing a contract, include a clause for evaluating the contract at a future date.

#8  HAVE I ASKED FOR ADVICE?  First, do your homework, then ask advice from    people who meet these four criteria:  (1) They tell you the truth, not what you think   you want to hear.  (2) They are experts in the area.  (3) They have time to think  through your questions.  (4) They are coming from a Biblical perspective.

#9  HAVE I PRAYEDTalk to God as if He was your business partner. Tell Him the details, the options. Let Him examine your motives.

#10  AM I AFRAID TO PULL THE TRIGGER?  Some people would rather talk about deciding than decide.  Decide to decide. 

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, September 3, 1997

ON LEADING A “BLAMELESS” LIFE:

Good Morning!

  • “But Dwight, there is no way you can stay in business without shading the truth.”
  • The sign on the condominium announces, “75% Sold”. I happen to know that the figure is   40%.  The owners are highly visible  Christian businessmen in the community.

The Scriptures correctly indict the human race in observing, “All men are liars.”  (Psa. 116:11)

So, what is the standard for believers who domicile, socialize and make their living in a world of liars?  

ANSWER: To be “blameless”:  

The righteous man leads a blameless life…”  (Prov. 20:7) 

In this context “blameless” is defined as:  

(1)  INTEGRITY: That is, there is congruency between what you verbalize and what you  practice: WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get.  No one can  point the finger at you and legitimately cry, “Hypocrite”!

(2)  SIMPLICITY“My heart is not haughty, O LORD, nor my eyes lofty; Neither do I concern myself with great matters nor with things too profound for me.”  (Psa. 131:1)

Over the years I have observed that maturing Christians are  continually taking steps to  simplify their lives rather than allowing them to become increasingly complex.                    

As Gandhi once said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

(3)  INNOCENCE: Jesus talked about the virtues of childlikeness:  “I tell you the truth, unless   you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3)

Are not simplicity and innocence trademarks of children? The more complex our lives become, the more we are inclined to loose our innocence.

QUESTION: How would your lost associates describe your life?

As phony? Inconsistent? Fake? Or as Authentic? Real? Genuine? 

How you answer that question defines whether or not you are in fact a righteous person as evidenced by your blameless life.

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!