“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

– Luke [12:34]

 

WHERE IS OUR TREASURE

Roger is a very successful dentist. Over a thirty-year period, his practice grew to be one of the largest and most respected in his local market, and he has sat on the state board of dentistry. He is a wonderfully protective father and a model husband. Roger’s practice didn’t grow because it was his goal to grow it. It grew because he strived to be the best dentist he was capable of being. As with all things in his life, his focus was on being the best at whatever he was involved in. His intention is always what is right.

“Jesus says that our heart follows our treasure.”

Many times in Roger’s practice he had to take financial losses to advance his professional ability to care for his patients. Each year he went to conferences to learn how to be a better dentist. Each time I went to his office, a new technique or machine was there to better serve my needs. Questions I would raise were always thoughtfully answered in an unhurried manner. I got to witness the professional development of his business over two decades. Many of the other dentists in the area started out strong, but only some, like Roger, grew. Many stayed in place. The trade-off of taking a larger paycheck instead of adding new technology constrained their practice. Over time it diminished their business.

Jesus says that our heart follows our treasure. For a successful business this gets to the root of why they are in business. The simple truth is that a choice must sometimes be made between making more money and being the best at what you do. Many companies, like Yankee Candle, focus on being the best. Yankee Candle has the highest customer likeability of all products sold in America. Like Roger, their focus is on providing the best product. The irony is that being the best costs money at first, but overtime provides long-term financial gains, while the pursuit of money produces a larger amount of money in the short term, a diminished revenue stream over the long term.

“When our treasure is to provide quality service, be responsive and a good follower of Christ, our customers see this in our business.”

Our customers see who we are and where our hearts are, when they are in our businesses. They silently approve or disapprove. When our treasure is to provide quality service, be responsive and a good follower of Christ, our customers see this in our business. When our focus is on money, we distort ourselves. In the short term it may pay off, but our customers see and our community sees. We know when we are following the right treasure, because we are excited about the morning. We enjoy our customers. we want to complete our tasks to the best of our ability. We feel secure.

Eventually, we all have to make this choice of where our real treasure lies.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

 

PARTING THOUGHTS

What are examples of good customer service?

Why do we work?

Do we wake up every morning excited to go to work?

 

 

“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.”

– Matthew [4:23]

 

A LIFE-AFFIRMING ELIXIR

We sometimes spend too much time in our inner castles. Many times in my counseling work, I will confront despair. A client will say, “Why don’t they want me?” or “I had a bad week.” When I probe why people feel this way, I often detect that they have spent most of the week by themselves, reflecting or doing self-analysis. It is hard to be alone, and sometimes we are alone even when we are with people. My clients will confess that they didn’t get much done on their “to do” list, which drove them further into themselves, over analyzing and being overly self-critical.

Jesus would sometimes go off to silent places to pray and meditate. Away from everyone. However, he preferred to be among the people. His ministry was dining with other people, walking to distant towns, curing the sick, or helping an individual with insight. It is moments like these moments that remind us most of Jesus. His ministry was an outward expression to others.

“When we walk among people, we receive an elixir.”

When we walk among people, we receive an elixir. An affirmation of ourselves. When we look someone in the eye and ask “How is your day?” we are affirming that person. An inner moment of joy occurs that tells the person he or she is good and worthy. When we ask and then listen, we hear stories about life. We get to know other people. They can share their dreams and worries with us. They are affirmed because we listened. For a moment they have a voice. We gave them a voice. And the sense of our own joy increases also. Our outward interest in other people provides us energy for our own tasks. When we are with others and listen, we receive.

“God wants us among the people, and we are created to interact with one another.”

People like people who like people. I often say this in my sessions. At first it may appear to be self-serving. But if we are sincere about it, we can create a mutual bond. When Jesus walked among humankind, he knew his mission. To heal, and proclaim the good news, but also simply to be with humankind. Our inner castles are good places to rest and pray, but we can only stay for a while. God wants us among the people, and we are created to interact with one another. Through outward expressions we find healing.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

 

PARTING THOUGHTS

Are we sincere when we say good morning?

Do we ask or do we state?

What is the value of questions?