Helping people is good… but is it the main thing?

There is a half-truth that has long been talked about in business circles. I like the true part – a lot, but have cringed when I consider the untrue part.

Zig Ziglar (a brother in Christ who went home this year) said it best when he wrote…

You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.

The idea Zig is communicating is a half-truth is because it doesn’t say enough.

What it does say is true, no doubt – but it needs to go farther, to speak to the motivation behind helping other people. Leaving it the way it is makes it sound as if helping people is the be-all, end-all of business or life, or that helping fulfill the selfish desires of others (and thereby yourself) is the highest goal.

But neither of those things is true.

For all people, and Christians in particular, we are called to something more than getting “everything in life we want.” We are called to something more than helping “other people get what they want.

We are called to do all we do (recreation, business, family life, entertainment, studying, etc) to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

What does that mean… to do all to the glory of God?

Surely, helping people in tangible ways qualifies, but there’s more to it than that. Doing things to the glory of God has has to do with attitude and motivation, not only with what we do.

We can seek to help other people get what they want, serve their needs, make outstanding products that truly make the world a better place, and do it all without giving glory to God in the process… and that is missing the mark.

As Christian businessmen and women we need to do a heart check. If you are genuinely wanting to do your work to serve people, ask yourself the most important question:

WHY am I wanting to serve people?

Think about it. Hard. Work it through with the LORD’s help to come up with a true, God-fearing, Christ-honoring motivation for your business. Because when you stand before God at the end of your life, He’s going to want to hear more than, “I ran my business to help people get what they wanted in life (so that I could get what I wanted in life).”

Don’t you think?