DISCLAIMER: if you already think and live this way in the marketplace, then please either disregard this post or simply consider this post an affirmation of what you are already doing. Thanks! :)
Here’s the bottom line – no matter how generous or others-focused a company or organization wants to be, if it is a business that has to make money to keep the doors open, then it has to make money to keep the mission going, too. And so you go to work and work hard and at leadership meetings the evaluation and strategies tend to revolve around continuing to make money and how to attract more clients and make a little more money this year over last. More or less, it’s something like that.
So, my suggestion here for this potential New Years Marketplace Resolution in no way is attempting to debunk the need to keep making money in order for the business and, if it has one, its generous mission to keep going. But hear me out anyway. And hear me out here even if you are not in a position to make decisions and changes. Maybe this can be something you pray that those leaders would consider.
Even if you are already doing something generous like giving portions of profits away or requiring employees to volunteer a certain amount of hours monthly, consider adding this question to those evaluation and strategy meetings:
Would anyone like to confess a mistake they have made recently, how they handled it, how it was resolved, and who encouraged them and walked with them through it?
What if our evaluation and strategy meetings were safe enough for confessionals?
Here’s the deal – in order for the good news of Jesus to be cultivated daily in the marketplace where you are, “following Jesus” must be modeled, not just spoken about. And following Jesus IS NOT just acting nice, always making right choices, not getting mad, and being a doormat for co-workers who take advantage of you cause they know you will always say yes to their disproportionate requests.
Following Jesus in the marketplace does include confrontation at times, making mistakes, getting mad, and saying no. However, it includes these elements of reality in each of our lives with two distinguishing characteristics – (1) unconditional love and (2) unafraid confession.
David was called a man after God’s heart not because he always did what God said. Read the Scripture. He didn’t. But he always was willing to admit when he was wrong, quit following after his own desires, confess his selfishness, fall on the mercy of God, and renew a pursuit of what God intended. He was contrite. And he was that way because he knew he was loved by the God who is love. He knew he wouldn’t be “fired” when he earnestly sought after His Father.
Is that the culture in your office? Confessional? Loving? Contrite? United around what the boss has set as a goal and determined to get there through thick and thin together?
Cultivate for that culture in the marketplace where you are as a new years resolution in 2012. I bet over the course of the year you will watch the normal bottom line increase along with the top line, and I bet you will watch a people begin to do more than just work together. They might even love each other.
That’d be cool.