Thursday, April 16, 2009

Integrating Christian Values in the Workplace

Dated : Monday, 08 October 2001

Written by Steve Marr
To read more :

Many Christians struggle with three questions in the workplace. Is it right to try to integrate my faith with my job? If so, how can I incorporate Christian values and principles into a secular workplace? And can I be successful at my job and my Christian faith if I try to mix the two in the marketplace? Here's the good news: God's wisdom covers every aspect of our lives, including the marketplace. If we will utilize four key principles found in God's Word as the basis of our business decisions, they will form a solid and reliable framework for a successful enterprise.

The first principle is very simple: "Do for others what you would like them to do for you" (Matthew 7:12 NLT). On the job, we will interact with a variety of people: customers, suppliers, managers, and fellow employees. In every instance, we should put ourselves in the other person's shoes and act accordingly. If as a customer we expect to receive a quality product, friendly service, and a reasonable return policy, then we shouldn't treat our customers like the owner of a refurbished-computer store who once bragged to me that when the 30-day warranty ran out, he would "hang up the phone on any customer who demanded assistance, even if the warranty had expired by one day." Is that how he would want to be treated as a buyer?

The same principle applies to owners and managers when they interact with their employees. Thriving businesses are built on respect, reasonable work demands, and fair compensation. The best managers develop a 360-degree perspective when making decisions. They consider the effect on their customers, employees, other departments, and higher-level management. Regardless of your position, if you want to make fair and balanced decisions, don't forget to view the situation from the other person's perspective.

The second principle is to "give full measure" to your customers and employees. As Jesus said, "Give, and it will be given to you- good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over.... For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return" (Luke 6:38 NASB). Giving your customers good value for their money is the secret to earning repeat business and referrals. In a restaurant, "good measure" means serving a full portion hot and fresh­-and keeping those coffee cups and water glasses full. Your customers will be delighted, and they will tell their friends. Smart managers know that if a dinner sits on the warming tray too long the food becomes second rate. It's better to serve a fresh replacement than to hope the customer just won't complain. Absorbing the cost yourself, rather than asking your customer to suffer the consequences, will create future goodwill and repeat business.

The third principle to practice is "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment" (John 7:24). At times we allow our emotions or personal perspective to color our thinking and govern our actions, but the Bible tells us to discover and discern the truth. Instead of jumping to conclusions, develop the habit of drawing out the facts and asking questions before you make decisions or take action. If an employee complains about the work of a colleague, for example, remember, "The first to plead his case seems just, until another comes and examines him" (Proverbs 18:17). Follow up, ask questions, and discover the truth before you respond. Apply the same principle to customer complaints and comments. Discover the truth, and then don't forget to treat your customers the way you would like to be treated. The best business decisions are made in the full light of the truth.

Finally, establish high standards of quality and focus your energy on consistent performance. The outcome of your efforts will be the basis on which your work is evaluated. As King Solomon wisely observed, "Wherever the tree falls, there it lies" (Ecclesiastes 11:3). Make sure that every product and every customer interaction conforms to a high standard of excellence. Work with diligence so that, at the end of the day, you can look at what you've done and echo God's assessment of His own creation: "It was very good" (Genesis 1:31). We will never attain to God's level of quality, but as Solomon advised, "Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do it with all your might" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Successful employees and businesses will develop a genuine enthusiasm for quality. I like the sign I saw posted on a company's shipping dock. It read, If you're not proud of each product, don't ship it." If you focus on quality, your customers and your company will be effectively served.

Integrating your faith with your job, and implementing godly principles in your business, will improve your results and make you a beacon in the marketplace.

Thank you for your interest, and desire to minister in His name. You are more than welcome to utilize any articles you believe would be useful.

In Christ,

Steve Marr
Joshua 1:8

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Inspirational Short Stories for April

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believed in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condem the world, but to save the world through Him." (John 3: 16 & 17)


After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the Church’s Pastor slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit and before he gave his sermon for the evening, he briefly introduced a guest minister who was in the service that evening.

In the introduction, the Pastor told the congregation that the guest minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the Church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service. With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak.

"A father, his son and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific Coast,” he began, “when a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to the shore.
The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized.”

The old man hesitated for a moment making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story.

The aged minister continued with his story, “Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life: To which boy would he throw the other end of the life line? He only had seconds to make the decision. The father knew that his son was a Christian and he, also, knew that his son’s friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of the waves.

As the father yelled out, ‘I love you, SON!’ He threw out the life line to his son’s friend. By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of night. His body was never recovered.”

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old minister’s mouth. "The father,” he continued, “knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus and he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus.. Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save the son’s friend.

How great is the love of God that He should do the same for us. Our Heavenly Father sacrificed His only Begotten Son that we could be saved. I urge you to accept His offer to rescue you and take a hold of the life line He is throwing out to you in this service.”

With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room. The Pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal.

Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man’s side. “That was a nice story,” politely stated one of them, “but I don’t think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son’s life line in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian.”

“Well, you’ve got a point there.” the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible. A bid smile broadened his narrow face. He once again looked up at the boys and said. “It sure isn’t very realistic, is it? But, I’m standing here today to tell you that story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His Son for me.




Here's a story that will bring you chills. Have you ever felt the urge to pray for someone and then just put it on a list and said, "I'll pray for them later"? Or has anyone called you and said, "I need you to pray for me, I have this need?" and we put it off to later because we are too busy?

We received this story sent to us. Read it as it may it change the way you think about prayer and also the way you pray.

Story # 2 - 26 Guards.

A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan."While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point.

On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine, and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital.

Upon arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time talked to him about the Lord.
I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident. Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines.

He said, some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards. At this, I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone in that jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said, 'No, sir, I was not the only person to see the guards, my friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.' At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day this happened.

The missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story:
"On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go play golf. I was about to put when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong, I called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?"

The men who had met together to pray that day stood up. The missionary wasn't concerned with who they were, he was too busy counting how many men he saw. There were 26.

This story is an incredible example of how the Spirit of the Lord moves in mysterious ways. If you ever hear such prodding, go along with it.

Nothing is ever hurt by prayer except the gates of hell. If we all take prayer to heart, we can turn this world toward God once again. As the above true story clearly illustrates, "with God all things are possible" and God hears and answers the prayers of the faithful. God does work in mysterious ways.

Let us all spend some some time today to pray for someone we know. Pray for God to guide them and protect them as they go along their way. Pray for God's love to be felt by them, His promises to be true to them, and when they give Him their cares, they know that He will see them through. When the road they are traveling on seems difficult, may they know and realise that someone is praying for them and have committed them to God.