Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lunch Presentation to Christian Club at Loyola Law School (Part 3)

Practical 2:
Please God not man
"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows." (Luke 12:4-9 ESV). 
In business I have found that putting too much stock, one way or another, in the affirmation or condemnation of another person is a snare. Praise of people can be addicting. If you don't keep it in perspective, then you do things that are not appropriate to continue receiving praise. In some cases that can be really bad like violating ethics or the law. It would never start out like that. It would usually start out with much smaller issues, like preferring a client's project goals above those of other clients, your own family and/or your own health when the objectively situation does not require or warrant it. Putting too much stock in the criticism of another person, will equally be a snare.
Objectively listen to and consider the criticism of other people.  Any messenger, even one who is very unpleasant, may have something that I need to hear. That unpleasant, angering, even exasperating person can be more loving to/positive for me than those who manipulatively flatter or who genuinely like me but don't care/risk enough to point out my flaws.
"Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy." (Proverbs 27:5, 6 ESV).
Only the fool rejects correction which is needed, whether that correction manifests itself in through the conviction of a Bible passage, the Spirit of God through prayer, circumstances or people. The one who persists in that rejection does so at his peril. "A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy." (Proverbs 29:1 NIV84). 
            Rather than focusing on the roller coaster of the opinions of others, I have found it more healthy to focus on pleasing God, from whom we can receive genuine, untainted approval that matters:
"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'" (Matthew 25:21 ESV).
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