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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Dear Colleagues,

THE PENCIL

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In the Marketplace, where power, position, influence, and visibility are highly esteemed, the person behind the mop, or checking in the luggage, or driving the taxi seem of little import. Yet, a mis-placed zero on an accountants ledger, a metal-fatigued bolt in an airplane, or a mis-calculated second in a "sudden death" basketball game, can spell the difference between wealth or poverty, life or death, victory or defeat. Thus, it is often the unnoticed people or the little things in life that are the most important.

Like a Pencil:

+

The Pencil will be able to do many great things, but only if it allows itself to be held in Someones hand:

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Gal. 2:20) (See Psa. 37:23,24; 41:12)

QUESTION:

Are you becoming great for God by allowing Him to determine your focus, priorities and ministry?

The Pencil will experience painful sharpening from time to time, but it will need it in order to become a better instrument:

"God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." (Heb. 12:10b,11) (See Pro. 15:10; 19:18; Heb. 12:5,6)

QUESTION

: Amidst lifes pain and suffering, are you choosing to acknowledge the hand of God as an instrument of spiritual refinement, or do you view Him as an annoying impedance from allowing you to achieve your self-determined goals?

The Pencil will be able to correct the mistakes it makes:

"When [the prodigal son] came to his senses, he saidI will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you" (Lk. 15:17a,18)

QUESTON

: Do you possess the humility and teachability to admit your errors. Or are you morphing into a spiritual dwarf by blaming others, as you rationalize your blunders?

The most important part of the Pencil is whats inside:

"Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place." (Psa. 51:6)

QUESTION: Is the real you standing up? That is, are you the same person in public as you are in private?

On every surface that the Pencil is used, it must leave its mark:

"For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life" (2 Cor. 2:15,16a)

QUESTION:

Do you share the passion of Jim Elliotts prayer, "Lord, make my life a crossroad in the life of every man I meet." Or is your life of little import in terms of affecting others for the Gospel?

+Author unknown. The adaptation of the key ideas is mine.

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