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The Business Elephant in the Room

I recently retired after a 55-year career of hard honest work; 46 years of it spent in leadership/management. I can honestly say that there was a potential for me to work another 3-5 years but quite frankly I had grown quite unhappy with the elephant in the room; the course of the business world and many of my customers.

It was becoming quite obvious that to continue to thrive in corporate America, and be a true God loving Christian, one was being driven to at least become a hypocrite, or at most, hide your love of Jesus and The Father. The drive to “silence” …or …” dissuade” Christians had become quite prevalent among most corporate employers and many of their key customers.

First off, I have to state emphatically that I am not targeting my personal employers, even though they do employ leaders who feel this way, but I am talking about industry as a whole. People were being forced to place descriptions behind their names (He/Him – She/Her) so to imply a gender “choice,” not a true biological life identity from God. People are being strong-armed in supporting so-called charitable giving such as “United Way” which is a strong advocate for abortion. Worst of all, people are being told they cannot discuss their belief in, or love of, God, nor pray or give thanks in the work place.

So true Christians, for fear of reprisal, keep their mouths shut and “go-along” with the corporate mandates, so they don’t rock the boat or potentially lose their jobs.

Where does this corporate philosophy come from? It is clear that Satan has played a key role in corrupting businesses and their leaders. The schools haven’t done any better by forcing God out of the classroom, and our congressional leaders continue to “legislate” what is wanted by the few and not what is wanted, and quite frankly needed, by the majority of their constituents.

I remember distinctly a situation where I was potentially put at odds with a school corporation. I had recently become the Head Football coach and we were about to play our first game. The week leading up to the game, I wanted so badly to bring prayer into my team’s mindset, but I knew how most schools disdained any thought of prayer. All the way up to the very moment before the game, I was conflicted – Do I lead the team in Prayer as I believed I should, to honor God, to thank Him, and to ask for His protection and guidance for all the players? Or do I give into the pressures and keep quiet?

I have to say I was sooooo relieved when one of my players stopped my pregame pep-talk by asking if the team could pray. I don’t know if it was this players’ excellent upbringing by his parents, the Holy Spirit reading many of the players minds and planting the seed in this player or me, or divine intervention from God, bailing me out so I no longer had to be conflicted. I don’t know why, and quite frankly I don’t care why. From that moment on, for 16 seasons, I led, or allowed a random player to lead, our team in prayer before every game! Over these 16 seasons, we won over 70% of our games.

This was all roughly 27 years ago. I’m afraid if I did this today, I would have been fired before playing 16 games let alone 16 seasons. I most certainly could not get away with this at work.

Do you pray before every work day – asking God for His guidance, peace, and protection, as we did before each game? Do you thank Him for your successes and pray to Him to ask for understanding with your challenges and struggles? Do you ask God for strength when you need to discuss poor performances with an individual or a team, or do you “sugar coat” your feedback instead of being honest? Are you proud of your love of God and do you show it and talk about it?

I hope the answers to these questions are “YES!” But, I’m afraid for most the answer is a very sad “NO!”

I can’t say I have perfected openly showing my Christianity at work, but I hope more times than not, that the people I have encountered can see that I am trying to be my best reflection of Jesus, so to bring honor and glory to The Father!

Many people believe that you cannot be a TRUE Christian and be successful in business, at school as a student, or as an educator. But, that’s the elephant in the room. I believe you can honor God and His Word by treating every one with love and grace, just as He has done to, and for, all of us.

God has our back, and will protect us. He makes His intentions clear many times in His Word. Matthew 22 (17-22) shows us this. When Jesus was being grilled by the Pharisees as they tried to trap Him, they asked: “17 Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed him a Roman coin, 20 he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”

21“Caesar’s,” they replied. “Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” 22 His reply amazed them, and they went away.

I believe Jesus would tell us today, to give to the schools and our business leaders what is there’s to own and control. But to give all else to God.

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