By Jim Langley
在過去的幾十年裡，有數不清關於商業成功的文章。我認為其中有一本書最為突出，那就是詹姆˙柯林斯(Jim Collins)的從《A到A+:為什麼有些公司能躍升，而其他的不能？》(GOOD TO GREAT: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t) 。這本書已經成為現代管理理論的經典。柯林斯寫道，要獲得商業上的成功並不容易。我想再加上一句：成功來自於承認上帝才是真正擁有這個生意的主人——成功後把榮耀歸給上帝時，也要感謝所有一同工作的夥伴。
- 你是否同意本文作者Jim Langley所說的：「上帝是我們事業、工作、能力和經驗的最終掌權者」？請說明理由。
3:22 耶和華 神說：「那人已經與我們相似，能知道善惡；現在恐怕他伸手又摘生命樹的果子吃，就永遠活著。」
3:23 耶和華 神便打發他出伊甸園去，耕種他所自出之土。
5:18 我所見為善為美的，就是人在 神賜他一生的日子吃喝，享受日光之下勞碌得來的好處，因為這是他的分。
5:19 神賜人資財豐富，使他能以吃用，能取自己的分，在他勞碌中喜樂，這乃是 神的恩賜
5:20 他不多思念自己一生的年日，因為 神應他的心使他喜樂。
WHOSE BUSINESS IS IT, ANYWAY?
By Jim Langley
As business and professional people, we are all involved in business dealings every day. I have been overseeing my financial services practice for more than 35 years. One question we should always ask: “Whose business is this, anyway?”
Most would proudly respond, “It’s our (my) business.” This would be a typical answer for any family-owned venture. Larger businesses are usually owned by a group of partners or a substantial number of stockholders. Often a few majority stockholders have primary control of the largest businesses.
I believe we are deluding ourselves if we feel the businesses we run belong to us. The Bible tells us who really owns everything! It’s all our heavenly Father’s, but He does allow us to oversee business affairs for a time while we are here on earth. And quite often we get to pass the business on as an inheritance to the next generation. Sooner or later, however, it all comes back to Him. It is all part of His wonderful provision! In my view, work is good and should be enjoyed. It should not be a drudgery, but to truly enjoy it, we must have the right perspective. I offer my own spiritual journey as an example.
Just months before my 40th birthday, I took a leap from corporate life into the financial services profession. Having never sold any products before, I knew this was a big risk. Yes, I had skills that made the jump easier, but there was no guarantee of success. I just knew I needed to get out of the corporate culture.
I’ve always been entrepreneurial in my thinking and somewhat of a free spirit. New York Life was willing to take the risk in training me, and 35 years later I am still giving back to the company that saw something in me that I did not know existed.
The first year in my new discipline turned out to be a true challenge. I was allowed to select a new sales manager after my first boss took over the Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A. general office, and my second manager returned to the sales force. A few months earlier I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord, so I chose to work with a sales manager whom I admired for his strong Christian faith. Working with his team was an immense blessing, and later I was appointed to a sales management position.
In my fourth year, I was introduced to CBMC (Christian Business Men’s Connection). Relationships formed in that international organization gave me much-needed tools and encouragement to remain strong spiritually during extremely challenging times. One of the most important lessons I learned was coming to grips with the question I asked above: Whose business is it anyway?
Volumes have been written on business success over the past few decades. Among them, for me one book stands out above all the rest: Jim Collins’ GOOD TO GREAT: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, which has become a modern classic in management theory. As Collins writes, business greatness does not come easy. I would add my belief that it comes from recognizing God truly owns the business – and appreciating all who work in the business, while giving God the glory for the successes that follow.
In Luke 12:16-21, Jesus tells the parable of one rich man who decided to tear down his barns and build bigger ones to store all the bountiful crops he had harvested. This man realized he had many good things and felt he could simply “Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” In verses 20-21 Jesus warns, “But God said to him, ’You fool. This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself.’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
We need to be rich toward God and realize that all we have is His. I would recommend and strongly encourage you to seek Him and recognize His presence in all you do in business – and life in general.
© 2018, all rights reserved. Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God. His goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. A long-time member of CBMC, he started writing “Fourth Quarter Strategies” in 2014.
- Before reading this edition of “Monday Manna,” if someone had asked you, “Who owns your business?”, how would you have responded?
- After reading this edition of “Monday Manna,” if someone were to ask you, “Who owns your business?”, how would you respond?
- Do you agree with Jim Langley’s assertion that ultimately, God owns our business – as well as our work, our abilities and experience? Why or why not?
- What difference would it make – or should it make – if someone believes that indeed, God owns their business, as well as their work and all that they do? If that is true, what does it say of our roles in our companies, whether we are top executives, in middle management roles, or assigned staff positions within the organization?
NOTE: If you would like to consider other things the Bible says about this topic, read and reflect on the following passages: Genesis 3:22-23; Proverbs 6:12-21; Ecclesiastes 5:18-20; Luke 12:16-21; James 4:13-16
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