If you've known me for very long, you've probably realized that I've struggled with being and overachiever and idolatry my entire life. In fact, I was so focused on getting a nomination to the Naval Academy that at 13-years old I set my sights on it and was unwavering. However, I wasn't focused on obtaining the nomination because it was a great education or that I could see myself leading a group of 1,000 on an aircraft carrier. It was because of the prideful status it would bring. I would be set apart as one of the elite - one of favor. My life would be easier because others would know from where I had come and what I had accomplished.
But, it wasn't until after I attended the first summer and the start of my first academic year that I realized that I joined for all the wrong reasons. I was chasing pride!
It took my more formal interviews to get out than it did to get in. I had to face the Rear Admiral - the Commandant of Midshipman - stare him in the face and tell him I didn't like his lifestyle and I wasn't a good fit.
I've chased after power, position, possessions and pride more times than I can count. And... every time I've felt completely empty.
Can you relate? Have you wanted the next promotion so that others would look up to you? Have you chased after the next raise for the nice boat and truck so that others would see you as "successful"? Have you realized what you have given up during the hunt for the next best thing? I know I have.
As I was reading 1 Timothy 6:7-11 I was reminded that those things I was chasing are temporary and didn't accurately represent my Father's opinion of me or what He would have me do with His stuff. And, as I was reading it - I started to realize that the current buzz word for Triple-P companies was a timeless truth that God already outlined.
- People - our most valuable asset and the pinnacle of God's creation. We are to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. These pursuits protect a worldview that has God as the leader, His creation with innate value (so valuable He died for us), and teamwork that support the Body of Christ.
- Profit - the driving force of growing businesses. Without profit, we can't provide meaningful work for one another or the resources and opportunity to provide for our needs. Without profit, we also have nothing to give. While the pursuit of getting rich is a snare and a temptation, if we have a healthy understanding of stewardship for all of God's things, we have a useful tool to make an eternal impact through our work.
- Planet - the ecosystem for us to interact with one another... and most importantly to interact with a living God. Through this perfectly designed system, God supports his creation in a sustainable cycle of light and dark, land and sea, food and shelter. If we ignore the care and tending of this valuable resource we'll undermine God's design.
Why Does All This Matter?
It matters because it:
- Gives us common ground to discuss God's master plan - those that do not know Christ understand the importance of people, profit and planet. If we show them through our behavior that they matter to us to, it gives us an opportunity to explain why.
- Keeps us focused on the Creator not the creation - this gives us renewed focus on His majesty and His creative power. When we obtain more, we end of with an appreciation for His creativity and power and it helps us realize how important it is to share.
- Changes our selfish goals into wondrous dreams - as we set out our goals for the year, we can change our focus from "what's in it for me" to "what's in it for God's kingdom". This paradigm shift has us dreaming bigger and more joyful as the milestones are met.
Real Change Doesn't Happen On Its Own
Today is the day to look at the pursuits we all have in our careers and decide whom we serve. Do we serve our bank account, the big car, the fancy house or do we serve The Lord? In this service we're not called to poverty, we're called to stewardship. This means that we are to use Daddy's stuff the way He would use them. Using these things might look something like:
- Setting aside a portion of your company's profits to serve your employees when their family is in crisis
- Setting aside a portion of your company's possessions so that they can be used by the community
- Setting aside a portion of your employee's time so that they can serve others
Triple-P Companies - A Representation of God's Heart
Imagine for a moment what life would be like if our work pursuits weren't for our own prideful ambitions, but were for our Father's purposes. What would happen if we saw our businesses as a way of fulfilling our calling to share Christ's love with the world? Or, what lives could be saved if God's resources were put to use right within our own communities - really loving our neighbors as ourselves?
May God richly bless you and your business!