I have been a manager of people my entire Christian life. As I grew as a follower of Jesus. I developed a philosophy of management based on the concept of covenantal obligations. This morning I was meditating on the implications of our call to collaboration and how collaboration is quite at odds with dog eat dog world of competition. I was quite inspired to the point of tears. I knew God was giving me an applicable word about Christian business ethics and that it has revolutionary implications.
So as I arrived at work, I opened up a "google doc" and began to write my thoughts. I called my wife and read the beginnings of an essay, what I believed was a word of wisdom from God on the implications of God as Trinity, us created in His image, and my management philosophy as a critique of the capitalist view of human nature as self-interested and individualistic. I was excited, inspired, filled with purpose and hope - all the signs of the presence of God. As I was speaking on the phone to my wife an employee entered my office. I will call him “A”. "A" came into my office regarding a work question. As he went to leave, I asked him to close the door and take a seat.
“I am aware that you might be looking for work,” I said. (A co-worker saw that he had posted his resume on Linkedin.)
“Well, I must admit, I do not want to leave, but I thought my pay would rise faster.” "A" apologized.
“You have to trust me,” I repeated having told him this a few weeks earlier.
“Yes, I trust you, but, you know, in our old apartment complex, I have been living in a one bedroom with my wife and my 16 year old daughter. This, you know, it doesn’t work. You see my daughter took a test to get into a fast track program to UCI, and she has been accepted. So she is skipping two years of high school and going to junior college in Irvine. So I have, now, a two bedroom place and the rent is $600 more.” He confided.
“You must be very proud. You need to trust me. I am dedicated to your well being. My job, as a Christian, is to use all the power delegated to me to help your family meet your potential and flourish. ‘To him who is given much, much is required.’ You know that. I am not, as a Christian, allowed to use my power for my self-interest. I must use the resources at my disposal to love others, serve others, and bless others. I will make a plan for your family’s economic success, but you need to give me time and you need to prove capable of the job. You know that I will advocate for you at my own peril. You will never have a boss as committed to you as I am.” I explained with conviction.
To which this employee said, “Every time I come to you. You understand me. I believe you care for me.” Tears welled up in his eyes. We hugged, and he parted.
As I write this, I am reminded of a conversation I had with the owner’s son just yesterday. We were speaking of this employee. I told the owner’s son. This employee was a refugee from Egypt. When the Arab Spring began in 2011, “A” had to flee to Dubai because he is a Christian and members of his church had been pulled over on the side of the road and treated very harshly. (I am not sure the gravity of the situation.) The young owner’s son was astonished. He knew nothing of the plight of Egyptian Christians and refugees. And to think, God has allowed, providentially, “A” to come to me, and He has allowed me and led me, by His Spirit, to love and encourage him. I believe God precisely inspired me just this morning to speak a word of encouragement just for "A". Truly as we do unto the least of these we do unto Jesus. Hallelujah.
Truly God gives us insight and wisdom. He prepares us, as His messengers of His love, to speak His words to those in need. It is exactly for moments like these that God prepares us, leads us, and allows us to collaborate in the on-going revelation of the Kingdom of God. Amen