Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Representing Christ


“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us.” 2 Cor. 5.20

 As business owners or leaders running your companies for Christ, what is your overriding purpose when you go into a meeting?  If it is with your employees, it is probably to accomplish important tasks, resolve problems, or assign tasks to further the business that Christ owns, that He has hired you to run.  But what if it is with another company?  What is your overriding purpose in that meeting?  The above passages suggest that it is to represent Christ in that meeting.  We are his ambassadors, and ambassadors serve to represent their government to other governments. 
 The embassy is legally a piece of the home country on foreign soil.  The ambassador is the one who is in charge of that embassy.  That embassy is one of the tools the ambassador uses to represent the home country to that foreign government. In that same way, as Christ's ambassadors, we are to represent Him to the world around us the marketplace.  When we enter a meeting, perhaps to negotiate a contract or to sell a product, we are Christ's ambassador to those people.  Our overriding objective is to represent Christ well in that meeting.  So, as we are negotiating this contract, the terms we seek are the terms Christ would want.  We must seek the contract to be fair and equitable to both parties.  (“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Phil. 2.4) The issue is not trying to gain as much advantage as we can for ourselves, but rather to represent Christ in the negotiation of the contract.  The issue is not to "win", but for the other party to be grateful they chose to do business with us.
 This raises another interesting issue.  We should not enter into the negotiations unless Christ has directed us to do so.  If we have settled that issue and are confident that we are doing what He has directed us to do, then we can trust Him for the outcome.  We can enter into the negotiations from a position of trust as opposed to a position of mistrust.  The world's way to negotiate is to start from a position of "I am really not sure I can trust you but am willing to explore it", and then slowly grow to a position of trust as the other party slowly grows to a position of trust.  But if Christ has selected the party we are to negotiate the deal with, then we can trust Him to work out the details with the other party.  It then enables us, even requires us, to enter into the negotiations from a position of trust and confidence in the successful outcome of the negotiations.  This significantly differentiates us from worldly businessmen.
 The world's thrust is to "get all you can" and to "win" because they have no other purpose in life.  But we are directed to represent Christ in all of the dealings of the business He has entrusted to us: to our employees, to our customers, to our vendors, and to our subcontractors.  We have been bought by Christ at a very high price, and we need to act accordingly, especially in the marketplace.

Prayer.  In the business world, prayer is often approached as the last resort ... "When all else fails, pray!" As business people, we thrive on strategic planning, problem solving, creativity and a myriad of resources that enable us to accomplish whatever it is that we set out to do.

However, the Fellowship of Companies for Christ International is committed to the understanding that, apart from prayer before, during and after, none of these resources can ever accomplish the kind of transformational impact that God has built into them ... and into the business leaders they serve.

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