Weekly Thought – June 6, 2017
Fred received regular calls and letters from those who valued his counsel. He never answered with pat phrases, clichés, or shallow answers. He carefully considered his answers. His responsibility to those who asked resulted in written material which still helps us.
Our BWFLI season wrapped up this Spring. Please pray for those who graduated, others who are seeking employment, and our school staff spending their summers preparing for next fall. Thank you for your consistent support. Your gifts of encouragement, financial resources, and team participation allow us to continue “stretching and blessing the next generation of leaders… to the glory of God.”
Older to Younger
(This is an excerpt from a letter written to a young businessman who asked Fred: “Can I be a Christian and still be a success?”)
I greatly appreciate your thoughtful letter. Your questions have been asked by business majors in more than 25 colleges and universities where I have lectured. They are important – and can be answered. I want to give you my thinking. I want it to be helpful.
Certainly I’ve seen individuals without integrity get promoted into high corporate positions and others get immensely rich using questionable methods. Yet, as long as corporate success and wealth have been reached by men who have not exchanged their souls, there is no conflict. You must understand the way of integrity and accept the price.
I believe in working for success much more than praying for it. Pray for maturity; work for success. My mentor, Maxey Jarman told me: “If a thing needs doing, it can be done honestly. If it can’t be done honestly, then it doesn’t really need doing.” Often dishonest methods are simply a shortcut to what could be proper goals. If the goals are honest, then the means and methods can also be honest. I hardly believe there could be proper goals with no proper means for reaching them with full satisfaction.
Let me illustrate: There is a choice of ways to get into a ball game. The proper way is to buy a ticket. You can then relax, and enjoy the game with your integrity intact. However, another way is to climb the fence or crash the gate. Some prefer the anxiety of this way. It is a “something for nothing” – and some believe it is the same with quick, though questionable, steps to sudden success. Both see the game, but there is a big difference. One pays their way with dollars; the other pays their way with their character.
As we begin our discussion of success, let’s be clear that success isn’t defined by wealth. The important principle “Success is using your talents and gifts to their highest advantage and contribution.” I often say it this way: “Success is the ratio between talents given and talents used.” Money may come with this, or it may not.
Think about: 1) What lesson am I learning from a mentor? 2) Who is benefiting from my life experiences? 3) When have I sacrificed my character for short-term gain?
Words of Wisdom: “I hardly believe there could be proper goals with no proper means for reaching them with full satisfaction.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The one who conducts himself in integrity will live securely, but the one who behaves perversely will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9 NET Bible)