Tim Van Milligan on January 21st, 2016

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. – John 21:17

What does it mean to “Feed my sheep?” This web site is about tapping into the way to make money, God’s way, so I thought I’d look at this passage from that perspective. In this sense, I’m reminded at how my own local church is crumbling and the membership is dwindling. One issue that strikes me is that the sheep aren’t being fed. The people come to church on Sunday, and instead of receiving nourishment, they are given a big heaping plate of shame. You know, they get a sermon on how that the room is full of people that are supposed to be Christians, but they don’t act like it.

And then people start looking around, wondering who it is that isn’t being caring enough. Because certainly it can’t be me — even though the preacher is pointing his finger at you.

Personally, when I hear sermons like that, it doesn’t make me want to invite others to come to church. Really, it doesn’t. Can you imagine saying to a friend: “come to my church this Sunday; the pastor is going to do another sermon on love and relationships. I’m sure you’ll get a lot out of if.” And deep down you know the point of the message is that you’re not being loving enough, and your relationship with the Lord isn’t deep enough.

Or maybe the sermon is going to be about “sacrifice,” and how we need to be more willing to help others. Asking the “sheep” to sacrifice is not “feeding them.” You don’t invite people to come over to your house for dinner, and then greet them at the door with the question: “what did you bring?”

The point I have is that, on occasion, I’d like to hear a sermon that fills my soul, not another one that drains me.

That brings me to your work life. The message here is that your customers (your sheep) are hungry and want to be fed. They want someone to feed them — and here is the big take away — they want “nourishing” food that tastes good. They don’t want subsistence food like bread and water. They want to be spoon fed.

Are you providing them with fantastic service, or are you giving them just the basic level of that will keep them from bitching at you? If you’re not creating raving fans (as they are called), they aren’t going to tell (and INSIST that) their friends to come to you for food.

Feeding the sheep is a lot of work. Yes I guarantee you that it is. But so few businesses are doing it. But then again, so few businesses are booming and have raving fans.

One final comment… If you work for someone else, know that your boss is the sheep. The sheep is any person that relies on you to provide for them. You’re not the sheep at work, you’re the provider and it is your job to provide for your bosses needs. You’re the sheep when you’re the customer, not at work.

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Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Tim Van Milligan on March 9th, 2013

Jesus-FishThe mocking of others, as you can see by this photograph of a dinosaur eating a fish (the sign of a Christian), is all around us. I don’t know if you notice this mocking of Christians, but I do. It really gives me heartburn.

We seem to notice when other people mock us, but do you notice it in your own life? Do you mock others?

I’ve been grappling with this question in my own life too. The reason is that we are all mockers.

The Bible defines a mocker as someone that is proud and arrogant:

The proud and arrogant man —

“Mocker” is his name;

he behaves with overweening pride, Proverbs 21:24 (NIV)

You may not consider that you are a mocker, but you may feel a twinge of shame about that little bit of pride and arrogance in your life. I know I do too.

The way that mocking comes to life is when we defend our own values. Think about this…

Yesterday evening, I heard someone close to me say: “I can’t believe you don’t know that,” as they corrected someone else. It wasn’t a question. It was a statement. It was to imply that the other person was naive and simplistic. It was “mocking.”

When ever we correct someone else, or say “You can’t take a joke,” we are at best, on the very edge of being a mocker. Most times, we have crossed the threshold and have positioned our values (and hence, ourself) as being superior to someone else. That is the pride and arrogance that the Bible talks about.

How Does Mocking Relate To Wealth?

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The Bible is very clear on what happens to the prideful, the arrogant, and the mocker. They are all set up for destruction.

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

Why is that? In practical terms, why are the mockers set up for destruction?

If you read further into Proverbs, you see:

The schemes of folly are sin, and men detest a mocker. Proverbs 24:9

In other words, everyone detests the mocker, and they will avoid them like they have a contagious virus.

For one reason, mocking others, is the tool that bullies use on their victims. Right? If you want to be accused of committing and being a cyber-bully, all you have to do is mock someone online. It is on the verge of being a real crime. That is how serious this is.

How easy is it to do business when you have no customers? How easy is it to win your boss’ favor when he doesn’t like to be around you?

Of course you’re going to have a hard time of gaining wealth in those situations.

On the flip side, there is guaranteed blessing when you don’t mock others:

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked

or stand in the way of sinners

or sit in the seat of mockers. Psalm 1:1 (NIV)

I’m sure that you’d rather have blessings than to be guaranteed to take a fall. That is a no-brainer.

In conclusion, all I want to say today is that you be very careful when you correct someone, make a joke, or point out the flaws of other people. And whenever you are put in a position to defend your values and imply that they are superior to someone else’s, you step up to the line where you can come very close to mocking someone else. I struggle with this too.

Be blessed by building up others, not mocking them. It is how to make money, God’s way.

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Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.