Don’t Be Anxious?

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7)

I have always been a little frustrated with this passage from the Apostle Paul.  What good does it do to say, “Do not be anxious about anything…?”  That is like saying, “Do not think about your tongue.”  As soon as it is said, you do it!  We all have anxieties.  I think what Paul is getting at is to not have destructive anxiety.

DISTRESS – Anxiety is a form of stress, and stress can have a positive or destructive effect on us.  The bad kind of stress is “distress.”  When we are in distress, our anxiety causes us to fixate upon the problem, to obsess over factors that we cannot control and ultimately to allow fear to dictate our responses.  To be in perpetual distress is to allow yourself to live as if everything depended upon your own abilities.  To be in distress is to become controlling as you try to limit the things that you fear from happening.  To be in distress is to not believe that God is in ultimate control and He is working all towards an end for our good.

EUSTRESS – The positive form of stress is “eustress.”   Eustress is what gives us that heightened awareness and extra-adrenal response to deal with challenges or special opportunities that come our way.  When we have eustress, our pulse quickens into a fight or flight syndrome that provides resources to meet a challenge.  To be in eustress is to energetically attack a challenge and push, and brainstorm and keep at it until you figure it out.  To be in eustress is to not obsess over what you can’t change, but to give up control and trust that God will light your path.  To be in eustress is to feel the challenge, but, in the midst of it, claim the promise that although in this world you will have trouble, God has overcome the world.

A Corpath member once said to me that all business start-ups take three times longer than you calculate and usually require twice as much capital than what you have planned!  Both leading a start-up and running an existing business can throw unexpected challenges at us.  This can result in crippling distress.  Or, as Paul challenges us, we can find our way to eustress by starting with the attitude of thanksgiving, presenting our petitions to God and then accepting the peace of God which, contrary to all human understanding, will give you peace in the midst of what the world may regard as a distressful, anxious situation.

Perhaps, that is the very reason that some anxieties come our way – to guide us to the need for peace in Christ Jesus.

Reflect:

  • Which kind of anxiety do you usually experience – distress or eustress?
  • Reflect upon the steps to move through anxiety to the peace of God.

Leadership 4×4

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.  …[If your gift] is to encourage, then give encouragement; …if it is to lead, do it diligently.”  (Romans 12:6,8)

On the topic of diligent leadership, I have always felt that the two key factors are strategic visionary thinking and effective time management.  I have yet to meet a business leader who was not eager to improve their skills in these two areas.  Some years ago, I put together what I call the Leadership 4×4 matrix which suggests a roadmap to excellence in these two areas.  I include it here for your encouragement.

 


John Wiseman – Corpath Business Forums – www.corpath.ca

Stephen Hawking & Billy Graham: The Influence of Two Dead Men

by Kirk Giles – www.kirkgiles.com – March 15, 2018

Over the last few weeks, two of the most influential men in the past 100 years have died.  Stephen Hawking and Billy Graham have both left their mark around the world.  Both of these men came from what seems to be lowly situations to have a profound impact in the world.  Billy Graham was raised on a dairy farm in North Carolina and would become a man who would preach his message to over 200 million people.  Stephen Hawking lived with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) for over 50 years.  He was paralyzed and completely dependent on others or technology for everything – except for his mind.  Even with these physical limitations, he has sold more than 10 million books dealing with life and science.

Hawking’s book “A Brief History of Time” is considered by many to be one of the most important books written in modern times.  He has inspired and shaped the thinking of millions of people.  There is no doubt that he was a brilliant mind.  Billy Graham is known for his message of helping people see God’s love for them and inviting them to place their personal faith in Jesus Christ.

These men are both very well respected around the world, but their view of life (and death) could not be more different.

Stephen Hawking’s words about death:

“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years.  I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die.  I have so much I want to do first.  I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail.  There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

Billy Graham’s words about death:

“I have a tremendous amount of hope because I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, who was raised from the dead.  And I believe he’s alive right now.  My wife is already in heaven, I look forward to seeing her, definitely in the near future.  I have tremendous hope in the fact that I’ll be in the future life, and I’ll be there based on what Jesus Christ did for me on the cross and by the resurrection.  This gives me a great deal of hope.”

I am struck by the distinct difference in thinking and teaching between these two men.  To Hawking, you are just a computer.  One day, it will fail and then … you just cease to exist.  To Graham, you have value to God and there is hope for so much more life beyond this life.  One view is plain depressing, and one is filled with joyful anticipation.

Hawking & Graham:  The End

Both of these men have experienced what every human will experience.  We will all die.  The question is – what then?

I struggle with understanding the value and purpose of human existence in Hawking’s view of the world.  In a world where life can be depressing enough, his view adds layers of confusion and uncertainty.  Graham’s view is much more hope-filled.  I wonder which story you may believe about your life?  Personally, I choose hope, purpose, meaning, and value for my life.  I believe that your life and my life is more than just a computer.

We are about to enter the season of Easter.  It is this perspective of life through Jesus Christ that Billy Graham lived for and died with.  If you could use a little more hope in your life, I would encourage you to visit your local church this Easter.  They can help you understand the great story of hope that comes from Jesus Christ.

Kirk Giles is the President of Promise Keepers Canada – you can see his blog at:

http://kirkgiles.com/stephen-hawking-billy-graham-the-influence-of-two-dead-men/?platform=hootsuite


 

Your Investment Always Comes Back to You

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”   (Isaiah 55:10-11)

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As a young man in my 20’s I decided to attend Briercrest Bible College to get grounded in my newfound Christian faith.  I worked in the Pulp Mills of northern B.C. in the summers to fund my education.  It was a rough environment, and during the inevitable conversations in the workplace, my co-workers would find out my college of choice and the mockery would become relentless.  Many would take great pleasure either making fun of me or wanting to debate me on religious topics.  I tried to deal with this attention with grace and integrity but will admit it was hard at times.

Some, however, would not mock.  They would seek me out and wanted to hear my views on God, faith and the Bible.  Of course, they sought me out privately so that they would not become a target of the same mockery.  I had many discussions with one man in particular.  He was an apprentice Welder, and as we talked, I could tell ‘the hounds of heaven’ were after him (as C.S. Lewis characterizes those who under conviction of the Spirit)  His questions were genuine and insightful.  After that summer and the dozens of conversations about the Christian faith, I often wondered through the subsequent years what happened to him.

Last year, I received a brief note from a Christian friend who also worked in that mill that summer and she said, “Oh remember ‘Jim’ (real name withheld to maintain confidentiality), well ‘Jim’ was affected by your many conversations and actually became a Christian 4 years later.”

So, I was a link in a chain in Jim’s life as God was pulling him to faith.  My ‘words’ reflected the ‘Word’ that goes out from God (Isaiah 55:11).  And as Isaiah promised, it did not return empty but accomplished what God’s desire was in ‘Jim’s’ life.

If you have shared the hope that is in you, the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ, no doubt you have exposed yourself to derision, mockery and ridicule.  But some you talk to will have “ears to hear” and God’s word, the message of salvation, will not return to Him empty.  Be encouraged by this promise!  What a privilege that our Creator chooses to work through us to bring others to faith.

In your day to day conversations in the workplace with employees, suppliers and customers – be prayerful of when you have a divine appointment to share the Word.  Be mindful that many people are just getting by in life with no sense of future or purpose.  We have a treasure in our faith.  We are partners with God in achieving the purpose of the Gospel message to others.

Even though it may take years, when the word of God goes out from His mouth, and from ours, it will not return empty.

REFLECTION

  • Have you had the opportunity to share your faith with someone seeking recently?
  • Talk with your Forum about how to discern the signs that someone is genuinely seeking to learn more about your Christian faith and how best to respond.

John Wiseman – Corpath Business Forums – www.corpath.ca

The ‘Manna’ Principle

When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor.  When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” (Hebrew -manna). For they did not know what it was.  Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat… The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled.  (Exodus 16:14,15,19, NIV)

The account of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and their subsequent wandering in the wilderness for forty years was formative to both Israel and to modern followers of Christ.  God’s provision to the people in the form of quail during the evening, bread-like manna in the morning and water gushing miraculously from barren rock makes for fascinating reading.  Furthermore, Paul states that all of the historical events that happened to the ancient Israelites had a double meaning in that they were meant to be spiritual lessons for New Testament believers as well (I Cor. 10:1-12).  “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall” (vss. 11,12).

Most of us have adequate food and water.  Most of us have not had to survive in a desert situation.  So what is the lesson that Paul encourages us to keep in mind?

As I read the story, I can see two teachings for us.  First, God’s people initially rejoiced that they were freed from slavery.  However, after entering into the desert of Sinai they began to re-evaluate.  At least in Egypt, they received three meals a day.  At least in Egypt, they knew what to expect each day.  Unbelievably, in spite of their miraculous deliverance, they began to wonder aloud if they should go back.  The deliverance from Egypt has often been compared to Christian salvation – for our deliverance from the slavery of a life of sin.  When you think back to some of the habits, attitudes, and pleasures that you had before Christ drew you to Himself – at times, there can be a yearning – a desire to return to some of those pleasures.  Just as most of us see the Israelites yearning to return to the “pots of meat in Egypt” (Exodus 16:3) as ludicrous – so we must stay vigilant and realize how ludicrous it is to want to return to activities & attitudes that previously enslaved us.

Second, the Exodus passage gives instructions to the Israelites to not try and store up multiple days of manna for security.  They were to gather what God provided each day.  True to human nature, a number of people ignored this instruction and hoarded some manna in their tents only to see it rot within 24 hours.  I see this ‘Manna’ Principle as relevant to the lives of business people.  The demands, uncertainties, and risks of business can make us want to be secure and self-sufficient.  The world teaches us to build our businesses and our net-worth to a point where we will be safe from the need to rely on anyone or anything else.  Now do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with strategic planning for the future in a God-honouring way.  But if you are driven by the need to not have to rely on others…, or on God – that is improper motivation to build up resources or capital.

The ‘Manna’ Principle in Exodus is a lesson to reflect upon.  Before God’s people were ready to enter the Promised Land, God desired that they move beyond their need for independence and learn the obedience of relying upon resources daily from His hand.  They were instructed to not even try to get a few days of security.  They had to rely each day that God would come through with their needs for that day.  In the business context this raises the question, “When does the pursuit of capital and the desire to be successful cross the line from responsible strategic planning and enter into the realm of unhealthy desire to be a self-sufficient, master of your domain?”

Discerning the location of that line, and when it is crossed, is probably not possible for you to do on your own.  Most of us need the community of others to identify our own insecurities and motivations.  I encourage you to discuss the ‘Manna’ Principle as a devotional focus with your Forum.   Paul’s admonition still rings true today, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you do not fall.”


John Wiseman – Corpath Business Forums – corpath@corpath.ca

God’s Performance Evaluation

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’” Matt: 25:35, 36   NIV

(This devotional is a repeat from 2016 but its message is timeless and worth reviewing this week)

Years ago, Randy Kilgour, a devotional writer I used to read, called this passage ‘God’s Performance Evaluation’.   During my years as an HR consultant, I noticed that performance evaluations were one of the most misunderstood and under-utilized tools in the management toolbox.  Most employees feared them, and managers and business owners saw them as a necessary annoyance.  In spite of these attitudes, almost everyone in the organizations that I talked to wanted to know, “How am I doing?  Can I improve?  Is there something I am not doing that I should?  The desire for accurate feedback on our performance seems to be hardwired in most of us.

Because of this, I have always felt that performance evaluations, when done properly, provide a platform for rewarding and encouraging high performers, identify training needs or course corrections for mid-performers and supply objective data for dealing with low-performers.

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells three parables that utilize three different criteria for God’s performance evaluation.  The Parable of the Ten Virgins (Are we living a watchful life ready for Christ’s return?), the Parable of the Talents (Are we using the resources given to us wisely in a way that will please God?); and finally, the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats (How do we treat the poor, the hungry, the sick amongst us?).

When most of us reflect upon the people mentioned in Matt 25:35,36 we may find it hard to relate to them.  Many of us in the Corpath community have led successful lives.  But as Kilgour points out:

“One of the great temptations of comfortable living is our belief that we’re comfortable because of our own labors. This leads to another great temptation, the belief that those who aren’t comfortable are always to blame for their own circumstances.

We’re too coy to say it out loud, but we think the poor are poor because they didn’t try hard enough, that the homeless are homeless because they want to be, or because they’re lazy or because they’re all on drugs. We think the sick are sick because they didn’t take care of their bodies, and the debt-ridden are debt-ridden because they didn’t manage their money well. We think the unemployed are unemployed because they didn’t work hard enough, didn’t train themselves well enough or aren’t looking hard enough for work. We think those things with smug self-congratulations for avoiding those traps ourselves.  …until the roof caves in.

 It is often only then that we discover that struggle and trials are not always the result of sin or negligence or laziness or lack of effort or initiative.”

When Jesus completes our performance evaluation, He is going to ask questions that may be unexpected.  He may surprise us the way he surprises the faithful (and the unfaithful) in Matthew 25.  He may ask questions such as:

  • Did the products you produce honour God, or did you at least produce them in ways that honored him?
  • Did you pay attention to the way your workers treated those who failed or faltered?
  • Did you help the unemployed find work?
  • Did you pay a living wage to your workers?
  • Did you serve the people that worked for you, or did they only serve you and your goals?
  • Did you value your employees as human beings and not just for how they produced?
  • How did you deal with employees who hit a “bump in the road of life”, a debt problem, addiction, family trouble, etc.

The surprise in the Matthew 25 performance evaluation, is that Jesus reveals that when we react to those who struggle with life’s pitfalls, it is as if we are reacting and serving Him – and we will be judged accordingly.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  Matt. 25:37-40

REFLECT:

  1. In light of Matthew 25, examine your attitudes toward the unemployed, the homeless, the sick, the imprisoned.
  2. As you read through God’s performance evaluation, are you a high performer, mid-level or low performer?

John Wiseman – Corpath Business Forums – corpath@corpath.ca

Focus Upon Your Supporters

“We have different gifts, according to the gifts given to each of us…, If [your gift] is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently.”  Romans 12:6,8

This week I would like to focus upon leadership.  There is a reason why new books on leadership come out every week – it is hard, and it is complex!  Which is why the best leaders are lifelong learners – always seeking to be diligent about improving how they lead.  This week’s meditation comes from Patrick Lencioni who identifies a problem of focus that most leaders struggle with:

THE LAW OF THIRDS

By Patrick Lencioni
February 2018

There is a model that I really love to share with clients because it always provokes an exceptionally strong reaction from them, a terrific mixture of revelation and relief. I wish I knew who to attribute the model to, because it is as powerful as it is simple.

What I’m talking about is something called the “law of thirds,” and here’s how it works.

Imagine that you are leading an organization of some kind. You might be a CEO of a company or a manager with a department full of employees. Or you might be a pastor serving a congregation, or a principal with a host of children and parents in your school.

Whatever the case, you can divide your constituents into three segments: “supporters” (not ‘yes people’, but generally reasonable folks who want what is best for the organization), “naysayers” (generally unreasonable folks who always seem to complain), and “undecideds” (people in the middle who aren’t quite sure which side to join). Incidentally, I don’t think the three segments break into equally sized parts. I’ve usually found that there is a fairly sizable group of supporters, an even larger number of undecideds, and a relatively small collection of naysayers.

Unfortunately, the naysayer group manages to portray itself as being much larger than it actually is, like an animal flaring its mane to mislead and scare off a predator. The way that small groups do this within organizations is by continually demanding more time from leaders, and by protesting more loudly than the other two groups.

Now, the real power of the law of thirds lies in the choice it presents for leaders and the starkly different ramifications of those choices.

Choice #1: Pleasing the Naysayers – by focusing attention on trying to win over the naysayers—something many of us ‘pleasers’ do—we end up giving them more oxygen than they deserve. Not only does this encourage them, it also provokes the undecideds to join the chorus of complainers when they realize that it’s the best way to get the attention of the leader. And if that isn’t scary enough, catering to the naysayers eventually pushes the very best supporters out the door in search of an organization where their loyalty and cooperation will be rewarded.

Choice #2: Assuming the Best – when we make the better decision and choose to focus our energy and attention on supporters, we drain the oxygen from the naysayers and provoke the undecideds to join the ranks of the supporters. And we end up encouraging the very worst of the naysayers to leave on their own, saving the organization valuable time and money. And if that sounds harsh, consider that we are helping them choose to find a place where they won’t be so perpetually unhappy, if that is at all possible.

But what exactly does it mean to focus on the supporters? It doesn’t mean we ignore the naysayers, per se. It is more about communicating to the entire organization as if everyone were reasonable and positive and generally interested in the greater good. That means we have to learn to smile at the naysayers, thank them for their input, and explain without apology or condescension that the organization is heading in a certain direction based on what’s in the best interests of the whole.

And here’s the amazing part; even some of the naysayers will eventually become supporters when they realize that chronic complaining doesn’t work. Ironically, this can only happen when we stop trying to win them over. I guess that’s yet another example of the power of tough love, something that pleasers like me sometimes struggle to do.

www.tablegroup.com

REFLECTION

  1. Who are the Naysayers in your business relationships?
  2. What steps will you take to shift your focus away from the naysayers and begin to focus upon your supporters?

John Wiseman – Corpath Business Forums – corpath@corpath.ca

Always Be Prepared

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)

For your inspiration this week I would like to pass on a story that was sent to me by one of our members.   As God draws people to himself, many times he uses a number of Christians whose witness forms links in a chain that draws a person to accept Christ.  In reading this story, Hubert was gifted in playing the role of the final link of the chain.  My encouragement to you is to not worry about being the final link – that is up to God.  Just be willing to share the reason for the hope you have in Christ and form a link of witness to someone in your social circle.

“GENE EDWARDS:

His name is Hubert Mitchell. He was without question one of the most awesome and formidable men I will ever know. The day I met him, the two things that stood out the most were his booming voice and the fact that he had no inhibitions.

Hubert was a missionary whose calling was to places where no one had ever heard of the gospel, and further, to go into the depths of the worst jungles on the earth and preach to tribes that did not even know there was a God. He went to the wild Kubu tribe in Sumatra when it was almost impossible to get to that isolated and forsaken island.

Some of the stories Hubert told defied belief, but my purpose for meeting him had nothing to do with his work as a missionary. His reputation, as far as I knew, lay in the fact that he was known to be one of the most effective personal soul winners.

I met Hubert when he was old. In Hubert’s declining years, he had moved out of the jungles of Sumatra to the jungle of downtown Chicago. Hubert met with groups of businessmen once a week in Chicago’s Loop and set up an incredible witness to those men. It was a gathering of some of the most influential men in Chicago. Hubert treated that area as if it were the center of a country village and he a country pastor.

I flew from Texas to Chicago to meet Hubert. I was a young man looking for anyone who could teach me an effective way to speak to others about Christ. Up until then, I did not know how to lead others to Christ — nor did anyone else I knew.

Hubert met me at O’Hare Airport. He had agreed to take me with him as he went door-to-door. (I did not know what “door-to-door” meant to this man!)

Hubert parked his car downtown when we left the airport and asked, “Do you want to start right now?”

I agreed.

He looked at the dozen skyscrapers which surrounded us on every side. After a moment he announced, “I have never been in this one.”

Hubert had picked one of the tallest buildings I had ever seen. To my chagrin, when we entered the elevator, Hubert pressed the button to the highest floor. The elevator door opened to the receptionist of the president and owner of said skyscraper.

“Good evening. I am a Christian minister, and I meet each week with men who work in the Loop. I would like to have a word of prayer with the president.”

The receptionist and I were tied as to which of us was more dumbfounded. Still startled, she pressed a button on the phone and said, “Sir, there is a man here who wants to pray with you.”

The reply from the intercom was instant! “Send him in.”

Bold as brass, Hubert started around the desk of the receptionist, who caught up with Hubert and escorted him to the office of the president.

I, in turn, was apoplectic.

As I staggered to a chair, my entire world as a personal evangelist changed forever. About half an hour later, Hubert returned. He thanked the receptionist and turned to me, “He will be with us in our next meeting.”

I was too stupefied to say anything.

Everything I had been taught and read about witnessing died that night. Hubert did not have any particular “way.” He lived with the expectation that the people he spoke to wanted to receive Christ as their Savior. Hubert had only one subject — to talk about Christ.

After witnessing to the gentleman who owned the skyscraper, Hubert drove us to a neighborhood where he would go door-to-door with the expectation that some of the people would invite us into their living rooms.

“My name is Hubert Mitchell and I am a Christian. I would like to come in and have prayer with you and your family.”

Sure enough, they opened the door. We went in and I watched Hubert Mitchell lead a man to Christ.

Hubert always talked about Jesus. He did not quote Scripture; he just kept on the subject of Jesus. You could not get him off the subject of Jesus Christ. From Hubert, I learned one of the most valuable things I have ever learned throughout my entire life. It is not logic nor reasoning; it is not verses of Scripture to put down arguments, for no argument ever came up.

The most powerful thing in this universe in leading other people to the Lord is the Lord Himself.

You could tell that Hubert was a man full of Christ; no one needed to tell you. Out of his Christ-centered life and his Christ-centered witness, Hubert had loosed the secret of soul winning: that is, to present Christ.

I was twenty-four. Something had changed in my life forever: It is Christ, it is Christ, in all things it is Christ. Never an it, but a who.

Today I often quote, “In every man, there is a God-shaped vacuum that nothing can fill except Jesus Christ.”

I left Chicago a different man. Back in Texas, I found witnessing to others a delight and a joy. Fellow pastors asked me to come to their churches to help them win others to Christ. Eventually I wrote Here’s How to Win Souls. Soon I was holding county-wide, weeklong meetings for training others in personal evangelism. Then came city-wide campaigns in door-to-door evangelism.

And the genesis of all this: “Good afternoon. My name is Hubert Mitchell. I would like a prayer with the president of your company.”

Excerpted with permission from Stories I Love to Tell by Gene Edwards, copyright Gene Edwards.


John Wiseman –  Corpath Business Forums – www.corpath.ca

Our True North

“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8)

All pilots know that to stay on course their compass must be oriented to true north.  Most of us know that compasses in general always point north, but how many realize that all aircraft compasses must be periodically calibrated back to true north to compensate for field error induced either within the aircraft or from external field distortion sources?  This process is known as ‘compass swing’.  Here is the text of the US Federal Aviation Administration’s Advisory Circular on Compass Swing:

“Compass Calibration typically involves two steps.  First, compass compensators are adjusted to minimize the influence of aircraft-induced fields that generate errors; and second, a correction card is prepared to indicate remaining error.  The pilot offsets the compass reading using these corrections to obtain accurate compass direction.”

So why this technical lesson from aviation?  I believe it provides a compelling analogy for the life of the Christian.  Our true north, the steady example which we calibrate our lives by, is our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ethical systems are discussed in Part 1, Chapter 5 of Preston Mannings new book on Faith, Leadership and Public Life.  He surveys the failure of most ethical systems to facilitate ethical behavior.  He concludes:

“If you are responsible for establishing the moral tone and standards of a group – a church, a company, charity, political organization or government – surely the lessons drawn from the teachings and example of Jesus constitute an excellent starting point.”  (Manning, Faith, Leadership and Public Life, p. 54

So, our first calibration back to true north in our lives is to make calibration adjustments from the example of Christ through daily Bible reading and prayer. This is the adjustment to distortion fields “inside the aircraft,” that is, our own personal sense of ethics and belief.  The second calibration, the adjustments needed from influences outside the “aircraft,” those external distortion fields we get in the day to day pressure of making decisions and facing temptations in business and life, require re-calibration in your Forum group or your church community.

We all know what happens when an aircraft is flying with an improperly calibrated compass.  It does not arrive at its intended location!  It is the same in the Christian life.  To finish life well, to hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant,” requires steady recalibration focusing upon Christ’s example and leaning on our Christian community.

May you fly steady and true this week.


John Wiseman –  Corpath Business Forums – www.corpath.ca

Practicing a Preference for God

“But as for me, I will look to the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” (Micah 7:7 NIV)

Whether it is to discern the right approach to a key business decision, or a family matter, or a significant life decision – most of us desire to know God’s will and direction for our day to day life.  I have heard many sermons and teachings on discerning God’s will and always listen keenly because it is a life passion of mine to try and live in accordance with God’s will.  Author Rueben Job challenged me to consider that if I desire to know God’s direction, I must give my relationship to Him preference over all else in my life.  I commend his thoughts to you this week:

“According to the final verses of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus met the disciples to give them direction and the promise of his presence.  The Bible is filled with stories of people who received direction from God.  Through the centuries, faithful disciples have discovered some essential qualities for the life and stance that permits us to receive God’s direction.

Practicing a preference for God and God’s will is the place to begin.  That means putting God ahead of all else in our list of priorities.  This is not only the way to receive direction but also the way to a joyful and faithful walk with God every day.  Preference for God profoundly affects our lives.  We not only receive direction but find our lives transformed as we learn to turn to God and seek to walk with God.

This kind of companionship with God leads to a life of trust and confidence in God that permits us to receive and respond to God’s whisper of direction.  Do you want to live increasingly in God’s presence, receive God’s direction, and walk in God’s presence?  Begin practicing a presence for God and you will discover a growing capacity to receive and respond to God’s direction in your life.”  [Corpath Devotional Green Guide, p.205]

REFLECT:

  • How will you have to adjust your priorities today and this week to give preference to God?
  • Test God in this, see if you begin to hear him more clearly as you give him preference in your daily priorities.

Corpath – John Wiseman