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Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for November, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

EXERCISES FOR THE WORKPLACE

Dear Colleague,

There are two approaches we can take in accomplishing the work God has assigned us:

Our way:+ His way:

Beat around the bush “Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.” (Matt.5:37–Msg)

Run around in circles “Because the Lord God helps me, I will not be dismayed; therefore, I have set my face like flint to do his will, and I know that I will triumph.” (Isa. 50:7 – Living) (See Lk. 9:51, 62; 1 Cor. 15:58; Col. 1:23)

Jump to conclusions “What a shame–yes, how stupid!–to decide before knowing the facts!” (Pro. 18:13 – Living) (See Jos. 9; Pro. 18:17)

Throw caution to the wind “ A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t and even brags about it!…The wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won’t face facts.” (Pro. 13:16; 14:8 – Living)

Fly off the handle A quick-tempered man starts fights; a cool-tempered man tries to stop them …The man of few words and settled mind is wise; therefore, even a fool is thought to be wise when he is silent. It pays him to keep his mouth shut. (Pro.15:18;17:27,28– Living) (See Act. 24:25; Gal. 5:22,23; Tit. 1:8; 2 Pet. 1:6)

Climb the corporate ladder Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it!…Godliness with contentment is great gain. (Jer. 45:5a; 1 Tim. 6:6b) (See 2 Ki. 5:19-27;Ps. 75:6,7; Phil. 2:3,4)

Run away from your problems “A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.” (Pro. 28:13) (See Gen. 3:12,13;4:9)

Jump through the hoops “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Gal.1:10) (See Pro. 29:25)

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

R. Dwight Hill

+ Adapted from Leadership…with a human touch – June 26, 2001

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

FORGET THE IRS OR THE SEC. IT’S THE SEARING EYES OF JESUS WE NEED TO BE AWARE OF

Good Morning!

“I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw…someone ‘like a son of man,’ dressed in a robe…with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.” (Rev. 1:12-14)

Yesterday I had lunch with a senior officer of a conglomerate who is intimately knowledgeable of the inner workings of the organization: Keeping double books, the cannibalizing of one company to shore up another, and the manipulation of reports to satisfy SEC and IRS scrutiny are all standard practices.

The CEO and CFO (who are also the controlling shareholders) determine senior management procedures. They are also professing Christians, who are known around town for their involvement in Christian missions and other programs related to the Gospel.

This senior officer went on tell me that because of their hypocrisy, the non-Christian executives in the conglomerate mock anything that is labeled “Christian” and view the CEO and CFO with great contempt. Clearly, these two men have become stumbling blocks to their non-Christian employees. As he talked, I thought of the Scriptures’ warning,

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” (Matt. 23:27-29)

“…If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matt. 18:6b)

“[When] the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts….What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” (1 Cor. 4:5b; Lk. 12:31) (See Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 14:25)

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither…thieves nor the greedy nor…swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1Cor. 6:9,10)

QUESTION : On the inevitable, and forthcoming day of judgment for believers, will your current business and professional practices withstand the searing, and all-knowing eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ – Let alone the more immediate prospect of an inspection by the SEC or IRS? (2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Cor. 3:11-15)

Are there specific changes you need to make at this time relative to your business practices?

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

R. Dwight Hill

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

THE REWARD FOR INTEGRITY AND THE CONSEQUENCES FOR DUPLICITY

Good Morning!

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” (Prov.11:3)

Bob danced around SEC regulations for years before finally getting caught. Twice. And twice he lost his broker’s license. Today his wife supports him, since his name is mud in the business community. Yet he continues to excuse his aberrant behavior.

Sam covertly exploited young men sexually for 3 decades before being exposed…All the while carrying on a public ministry in the Name of Christ. Today he is divorced and alienated from most of his friends of many years. He continues to deny any wrong doing.

Andy finally let his Christian brothers know of his alcoholic struggle of many years…After his wife demanded that he move out of the house. For years I surmised there was a serious problem of some type, but he would never allow me, or anyone access to his personal life.

Proverbs compares the righteous with the duplicitous:

RIGHTEOUS PEOPLE:

UNRIGHTEOUS PEOPLE:

REF.

“Righteousness guards the man of integrity,

but wickedness overthrows the sinner.”

13:6

“He whose walk is blameless is kept safe,

but he whose ways are perverse will suddenly fall.”

28:18

“The man of integrity walks securely,

but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.”

10:9

“The righteousness of the upright delivers them,

but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.”

11:6

(See Psa. 25:21; 73:18-20; 125:5; Prov. 26:11)

The reality of it is that God rewards people of integrity, while the double minded can look forward to harsh consequences for their actions.

QUESTION : Given the present state of your secret life, into which column do you fall? If it is the “unrighteous” column, are you prepared to live with the inevitable consequences of your double life?

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

R. Dwight Hill

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

SQUASHING A NASTY LITTLE RUMOR +

Good Morning!

There is a nasty little rumor circulating that says “business is a dirty enterprise, but somebody has to do it.” Implied in this line of thinking is the idea that somewhere out there, there is a higher calling. Like there is the “secular” and then there is the “spiritual”. And somehow we can never quite get the two together.

The fact is that God loves work and He loves us to work! Let me give you six reasons why :

#1 God is a worker – Just take a gander at Genesis 1 and 2 in creation. When God finished His creation, He saw that His own work was “good.” (Check out Deut. 11:1-7; Psa. 111)

#2 Before the fall God created us to be workers: “Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed…The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (Gen. 2:8,15) (See Gen.1:26-29)

#3 Work enables us to meet our family and personal needs: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. (I Thess. 4:11, 12)

#4 Work makes it possible for us to give to others: “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need .” (Eph. 4:28)

#5 Work gives us pleasure and reward, thus easing life’s pain: “Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him–for this is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work–this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.” (Ecc. 5:18-20)

#6 Work affords us a platform for ministry: “’Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’” (Matt. 4:19)

To catch fish, you have to go where they hang out. Is there a better place to “fish” than where you spend 40 – 60 hours of your week?

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

R. Dwight Hill

+Most of the ideas were derived from “Your Work Matters To God” – Sherman & Hendricks – NavPress

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

HOW DO YOU LOVE YOUR WIFE WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT ?

Good Morning!
TOUGH ASSIGNMENT WHEN THE FIZZ HAS GONE OUT OF THE MARRIAGE…As it does from time to time in every relationship.
Contrary to popular belief, life was never intended to always be lived at the “fizz” level…at the “feeling” level. In a society where people reside on the edge of their emotions; where “feelings” override commitment, truth, and fidelity, it’s difficult to maintain the commitment of hanging in there when you don’t “FEEL” like it anymore.
This idea of commitment is of course, contrary to the message being spewed from Hollywood which has re-written the wedding vows to read: “…In sickness and in health AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LOVE” (i.e. have the warm fuzzies).
In Paul’s admonition for husbands to “love (their) wives, just as Christ also loved the church…”,+ the Greek word for love is agapao, which has nothing to do with “feelings,” and everything to do with mercy, sacrifice, compassion…Yes, even suffering.
As Christ’s love for us translated into His death on the cross, so our love for our wife must translate into suffering the death of selfish desires in sacrificing ourselves for her.
How you choose to respond to Christ’s command to sacrificially love your wife–even when the feelings have dissipated, is a clear statement as to the quality of your spiritual life.
After all, the hallmark of a life controlled by the Spirit, is love as evidenced by “patience”, “kindness”, “gentleness”, and “self-control” (Gal. 5:22, 23)
So, the important issue in marriage is not so much how you “FEEL” about your wife at any given moment, but whether you are choosing to behave toward her in loving ways reflective of Galatians 5:22, 23.
When you do, you can be quite sure the emotion of love will return.
My prayer is that you are having a great week!

R. Dwight Hill
+Ephesians 5:25