How does the McDonald's Corporation spell profit? N.I.X. When a family of five like mine hits the road on vacation you can be certain the drive-throughs at McDonald's and other fast food venues get business. One year we motored to the mountains of North Carolina and, along the way, we finally had our fill of burgers and fries. So, when we saw a roadside fruit and vegetable stand, we had to stop.
Doing Things the Christlike Way
My wife, Teri, and our oldest daughter, Lauren, hopped out of the car. Peering from the comfort of my seat, I noticed something different about this fruit stand. I had to get out and see what set this establishment apart.
The property was sparkling clean. Not only was the area immediately around the fruit and vegetables spotless, but the parking lot and roadside were clean as well. The space behind the fruit where the proprietor stood was swept clean. The display of goods was attractive, arranged to accentuate the natural colors and positioned for easy viewing from the road. The fruit and vegetables themselves appeared to be of superior quality – no bruises or scrapes. The owner offered only the best to his customers. He posted his price list in plain view and set the scales so the weight could be easily read by the customer. The proprietor himself was noteworthy. He was clean, smiling, and talkative. His demeanor was calm and peaceful.
The combination of inviting inventory, clean surroundings, and a peaceful proprietor drew me in. I remember thinking, This is a very unusual place. Curiosity got the best of me, and I engaged the man in conversation. I asked him where his fruit came from and how long he had been in this business. He answered my inquiries simply and politely. As we turned to leave, I told him that his stand was the finest I had ever shopped. It was then that I learned the difference between his stand and the dozens of other stands I had experienced. "I try to offer only the very best because I work for the Lord Jesus," stated the man unashamedly.
That was the difference. His product was excellent because he dedicated his work to the Lord.
What Is Excellent Work?
Excellence in your work is the quality of doing things the way Christ would do them. The natural outcome of striving for excellence in all you do is the building of credibility among your coworkers. From this platform of credibility you can deliver the eternal message of Christ.
Christ modeled this virtue when He, along with His mother, attended the wedding feast of a friend. Before the meal had ended, the wine was all gone. This was a disgrace for the host family, so Mary pulled Jesus into the kitchen area and asked Him to work a miracle (John 2:1-11).
This was Jesus' first miracle. His disciples were watching. Perhaps they were looking for some shred of evidence to justify their decision to abandon the only life they knew for a life following a Man they knew nothing about. Perhaps His act of turning water to wine came at a critical juncture in their relationship and helped confirm the correctness of their decision to follow Him. This work of the Savior built credibility among His followers.
This event also illustrates the commitment of Christ to excellence. The servants must have thought the instructions He gave them were crazy. Certainly they thought filling large jars with water as a substitute for wine was insane, but still they followed His orders. The result was wine – but not just any wine. This wine was the best, and it surprised the master of the banquet. "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now" (John 2:10).
Perhaps you have not seen your work from God's point of view. If not, heed Mary's words to the servants: "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5). God may have put you in your place of employment to represent Him to just one lost soul, or maybe the potential for an eternal harvest is even greater. That is God's decision. Your decision and my decision is whether or not we will obey Him.
Maybe you do not believe your work is important enough to make a difference for Christ. Consider the proprietor of that fruit stand. Fruit stand ownership is not exactly on the list of most-sought-after jobs. Yet this faithful servant sees the potential to use his job as a platform for witnessing and makes a difference for his Savior through the credibility that results from excellent work.
If you are serious about transforming your workplace for Christ, then you must become committed to excellence in your work. The world of cynics and doubters is watching us. They want to believe Christ makes no difference in a life. Mediocre job performance is the standard in most workplaces. You can set yourself apart and build uncommon credibility by working the way Christ does – excellently.
Written by William H. Nix. Excerpted from Transforming Your Workplace for Christ Used by permission. Content distributed by WorkLife.org > Used for non-profit teaching purposes only.