Category Archive: Monday Manna

  1. If I Could 'Do It Over Again'

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    There are times when I wish I could have some “do overs” in my life.

    One of the first things I would change, if I could, would be not investing the time and money that I did in getting my MBA. Yes, my Master in Business Administration degree was a “stepping stone” to my first job. Yes, it provided a good network of relationships. And yes, the degree gave me confidence. But it was similar to the diploma that gave the scarecrow confidence in the classic film, “The Wizard of Oz.” He did not really need it – he only believed that he did. 

    In my pursuit of the MBA, which many business leaders consider a prerequisite to success in the work world, I learned many things that just were not pertinent – or even true.

    No, I am not a Luddite – one of those people that resist progress or change. I just try to be realistic and practical. In my everyday search for bottom-line truth, I have always strived to find what really works.And time and experience have taught me that most of the “knowledge” acquired during the quest for an MBA does not work. Let me give you a case in point: finances. 

    While I was a student, our MBA mantra was: “The function of business is to maximize profits within legal and ethical constraints.” I learned that, believed it, and adhered to each word.

    In the process I became the head of several different organizations. I had the “toys,” the material rewards that come from making profits the top priority in your company. I became wealthy, beyond anything I could have imagined.  However, as I continued this quest to ”maximize profits within legal and ethical constraints,” swallowing that philosophy completely, I became a manipulating “people user.” I left a trail of broken relationships in my wake, and nearly lost my marriage in the process.

    I am not trying to condemn everyone that has earned an MBA, but I understand too well how that course of academic training can skew a person’s goals and values. I have since come to embrace something far better than an MBA. What is better than an MBA? It is the realistic, practical, bottom-line truth that comes from only one source: the Bible.

    You see, the Bible talks a lot about finances, too. In fact, it says more about finances than it talks about heaven and hell! For more than two decades I have become a diligent student of the Bible and have concluded it holds more truth, more practical guidance for everyday living – including the workplace of the 21st century – than 1,000 MBAs could even hope to offer.

    The New Testament summarizes the value of learning and applying the Word of God: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man (and woman) of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

    My best advice for business and professional people is to study God’s Word every day. If you do this with sincerity and an honest, open heart, you will be amazed at what it has to say about your life – and your work. Without question, it is life-changing. 

    Ken Korkow lives in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A., where he serves as an area director for CBMC. This is adapted from the “Fax of Life” column that he writes each week. Used with permission.

    Reflection/Discussion Questions

    1.  Do you have an MBA, or know someone that does? What do you think have been the benefits of having an MBA? What do you think about the concept that the primary function of business is maximizing profits within legal and ethical constraints?

    2.  Do you agree with Mr. Korkow, or do you think an MBA is an important ingredient for success and advancement in today’s business and professional world? Explain your answer.

    3.  How do you respond to the statement that studying and applying the Bible is much more valuable – and useful – than a prestigious MBA? 

    4.  Did you know the Bible has much to say about finances? If you did, can you cite some examples? If you did not, does this make you more curious to read the Bible and discover what it says on that topic? Why or why not? 

    NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:

    Joshua 1:8-9; Psalm 119:9-11, Ephesians 2:10, 4:14-16; Colossians 3:16-17, 23-24


  2. How Do You Approach the Start of a New Day?

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    When you awaken to prepare for another workday – especially a Monday – what is your typical attitude? Are you filled with enthusiasm and anticipation, looking forward to opportunities and challenges the day will present? Or do you experience feelings of frustration or even dread, wishing you could get back into bed, pull up the covers, and forget about going to work? 

    If you fall on the negative side of this equation, there could be many reasons: Deadlines you face might seem overwhelming; you could be facing serious conflict with superiors or coworkers; you may not be a good match for the work you are asked to perform; or the job you have held for a long time could have grown tedious and routine, causing you to feel bored and uninspired rather than eager and energized. 

    Other reasons for disliking work might come to mind, but your mind itself could be a primary factor: the attitude you allow yourself to have toward your work and your workplace. Even though we cannot always change our circumstances, we can choose our attitudes toward our circumstances. 

    I am not a “power of positive thinking” person – but I am a person who ascribes to positive believing. This is why I like to start each day – sometimes before I get out of bed – by silently repeating a favorite verse from the Bible: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). If I truly believe that, that God has seen fit to give me a new day, filled with opportunity, new experiences and unexpected encounters, I can approach it with optimism and expectation. 

    Most days never turn out exactly as I have anticipated. A friend I did not expect to hear from gives me a call or sends an email, leading to meaningful interaction. Out of the blue someone contacts me and asks if I would be interested in a new writing or editing project; something totally off my planning grid. I start working on one task but must shift my focus onto something else, and then I realize the original task was not as urgent as I had thought, so I could postpone it for another day. 

    Nearly six years ago, after successfully coming through open-heart surgery, I determined to regard each new day as a “gift.” Not one of us has tomorrow guaranteed, but surviving a major event like that has a way of impressing that reality on you. So while I recognize not every day will be enjoyable or easy, if God has given it to me, there must be a good reason – and I can look forward to whatever the day presents.

    Here are principles from the Scriptures to consider when embarking on a new day:

    Regard each day as an opportunity, not an imposition. As the saying goes, “our days are numbered.” So we should appreciate what we have and make good, wise use of the time give to us. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). 

    Redeem the day before it is lost. The one commodity we all have in common is time. And we cannot save it for use on another day. Once an hour has passed, it is gone forever, so we should consider how to use it for greatest advantage. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of the time, for the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). 

    Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.comand www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.

    Reflection/Discussion Questions

    1.  When you awoke this morning, what was your attitude toward the day ahead? 

    2.  What are reasons you could have for feeling dread instead than enthusiasm about an approaching workday?

    3.  Do you agree that although you might not be able to change the circumstances of your work, or even the people you work with, you can choose to adjust your attitude toward them? Why or why not?

    4.  The verse is cited that states, “This is the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Do you believe this? And if you do, what difference should it make in how you approach each new day? Explain your answer. 

    NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: 

    Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 3:9-13; Matthew 6:34; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:17,23


  3. Need For An Enduring, Unchanging Worldview

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    Many universities and corporate trainers teach business ethics from a perspective sometimes referred to as “moral relativism.” This basically means they do not believe in objective truth; to them, truth is in the eye of the beholder. As a result, according to this way of thinking, whatever an individual regards as right is good enough. 

    Personally, I disagree with this philosophy. If truth is something we can mold and shape according to our desires and preference, then the person that conducts business in an unscrupulous, predatory manner is as “ethical” as the individual that seeks to uphold the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

    The Bible describes this type of belief system when it states, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Even thousands of years ago, people rejected the existence of objective truth. This is not a “modern,” 21st century concept.

    As an employer, even if we do not subscribe to moral relativism, it is important to remember everyone has their own worldview, and they live and act according to it. For instance, if they are self-absorbed, they will likely make decisions and act according to what benefits them most. If they make decisions based on family values they have learned, that could be good – or it could be bad. What if you discover too late that they were raised by mobsters, swindlers or criminals? You might not like those “family values” being brought into your company! 

    Although you cannot change or modify the worldviews of individual employees, you can seek to clearly communicate the “worldview” by which you want your business or department to be run. This is where mission statements, vision statements and value statements are extremely useful. They put on paper the standards, policies, overall goals and objectives the company desires to achieve and maintain. 

    These statements express your beliefs, the foundational principles that govern your practices, offer the “big picture” of what you hope to accomplish, and verbalize truth as your company perceives it. 

    A big question facing many of us in the business and professional world today is one that was raised by Pontius Pilate, who served as judge at the trial of Jesus before His crucifixion. Pilate asked, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). He was suggesting truth – and the “right” worldview – is whatever one wants it to be. 

    However, my experience has taught me that if everything is true, then nothing is true. I have learned the only objective truth that is time-tested and will help you in standardizing and solidifying your company values is the Bible. Psalm 119:152 teaches, “Long ago I learned from your statutes that you established them to last forever.” Many other verses in that Psalm also affirm the enduring, unchanging truths, precepts and principles established in the Word of God. 

    If you desire to oversee or be part of an ethical workplace, I recommend you establish a worldview that lasts forever, one that does not change according to the need of the moment or shifting whims of society. The Scriptures provide the only source for that. They worked well in the 1st century – and they are good for the 21st century as well.

    Copyright 2012, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from “Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx,” a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more about Integrity Resource Center or to sign up for Rick’s daily Integrity Moments, visit www.integrityresource.org. His book, How to Prosper in Business Without Sacrificing Integrity, gives a biblical approach for doing business with integrity.

    Reflection/Discussion Questions

    1.  What are your thoughts about “moral relativism”? How would you define “truth”?

    2.  How do you think a person’s worldview affects how they work and approach their business responsibilities?

    3.  Does your company have a mission statement, or expressions of its values or vision in written form that are available to employees? If so, what impact – if any – do they have on how everyone sees their role in the company? If not, do you think such tangible, verbalized statements would be of value? Why or why not?

    4.  Mr. Boxx states the Bible should be the ultimate source of objective, time-tested truth? Do you agree? Explain your answer.

    NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages:

    Psalm 19:7-11, 119:9-11, 33-37, 105; Proverbs 11:3, 13:6; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12

     

    PDF Download: /static/uploads/mm_9-3-12.pdf

    WORD Download: /static/uploads/mm_9-3-12.doc


  4. Monday Manna: Other Languages

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    Monday Manna is available in many languages – please see the full list below.

    To obtain the language of your choice, please email the translator (email address below) or visit the webpage noted below.

    Albanian

    www.albaniashalom.com

    Chinese

    http://www.cbmc.org.tw/

    Dutch

    http://www.cbmc.nl/e-meal.php

    French

    http://cbmc.org.br/cgi-bin/mailer/mailer.cgi?f=list&l=cbmcfr

    German

    Available by emailing a request to:  [email protected]

    Hungarian

    Available by emailing a request to: [email protected]

    Indonesian

    Available by emailing a request to: [email protected]

    Italian

    http://cbmc.org.br/cgi-bin/mailer/mailer.cgi?f=list&l=cbmcit

    Korean

    Available by emailing a request to:  [email protected]

    Latvian

    Available by emailing a request to: [email protected]

    Macedonian

    Available by emailing a request to HBM/CBMC Macedonia at:  [email protected]

    Polish

    http://www.mondaymanna.pl

    Portuguese

    http://cbmc.org.br/cgi-bin/mailer/mailer.cgi?f=list&l=cbmcbr

    Romanian

    Available by emailing a request to: [email protected]

    Russian

    Available by emailing a request to [email protected]

    Slovakian

    Available by emailing a request to [email protected]

    Slovenian

    http://www.poslovnitok.si

    Spanish

    http://porquecreer.com/table/mana-del-lunes/