Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Representing... Jesus

Back in the day, I was a Sales Representative for a Fortune 50 company. I had a territory to manage that was filled with outlets for the products of my company, and prospects who were not outlets yet. My mission was to help those who were already selling our products sell more, as well as to help those who weren't selling them now, become outlets.

To do the former meant I had to learn their business goals, values, and how they carried those out, so that the marketing plans I devised were consistent with them, and would aid them in achieving a greater return on their investment.

With those who did not carry our products, I likewise had to meet them and seek to learn what their goals and values were, how they carried those out, and then devise a presentation that would help them see how our products would help them get there.

Existing customers were easier to handle, because of a shared history, common knowledge, and established trust. Prospects had to be convinced of your passion and determination to help them, as well - and this is key - your integrity overall. For if you weren't trustworthy, then nothing you said could be trusted either.

On the first day I went to work for this company, they told me, "You are (company name)." We will train you, support you, encourage you, and work on our end to develop products that are superior in meeting your customer's needs. But we cannot to the work for you that only you can do. We cannot build trust with outsiders and insiders. Only you can do that.

If you follow our guidance, adhere to our standards of conduct, and represent us with integrity, we will always be there for you. But the moment you lose your integrity whether in your personal life or corporate life, you are no longer of use to us and will be terminated as an employee. As long as you work for us, wherever you go, you are (company name) ."

Here's where I'm going with this.

Why do we as Christians think we can choose NOT to represent Jesus at our convenience?

One of the reasons I have heard for taking youth on mission trips is "they will be able to understand what it means to be all out for Jesus there."

There's no distinction between "there" and "here". "Whatever you do, in word or deed, do it for the glory of God" seems to cover everywhere, at every time, in every situation.

We represent Jesus. How are we doing with that?

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