Rick, a committed Christian and the company’s purchasing manager, was called into Tom’s office for a chat.
“Rick, you do great work in purchasing, and you’re a faithful husband, a conscientious father, and an outspoken Christian in our company,” the company’s CEO told him. “I applaud that. But did you know that your sour disposition, grumpy manner, and quick temper are real turnoffs for those in the company who don’t yet know Christ?”
“No,” Rick answered sheepishly. He was hurt and taken aback by Tom's critique of him, but he also had a well-developed relationship with Tom outside of work, including attending a Bible study together.
“Would you be willing to go to a Christian counselor to discover and correct the root causes for your behavior?” Tom asked him. “You don’t have to—it’s your choice, and I don’t need an answer today. Go home, speak with your wife, pray about it, and let me know your decision. There’ll be no cost to you.”
A few days later Rick agreed to begin the process, tremulous having never been to a counselor. Every few months Rick and Tom would get together to talk, but Rick was showing little progress. Then two years after counseling began, Rick showed up at Tom’s door with a never-before-seen grin.
“We’ve made a breakthrough,” Rick said excitedly. “It was so simple, obvious, and life-changing I’m embarrassed it took so long to find it.”
Tom was all ears.
“Ten days ago my counselor went over the basic background questions with me again,” Rick told him. “I thought it was a waste of time. He asked me how I was sleeping. I gave him the same answer I gave him before, ‘Normally, same as always.’ Only this time, he asked a new question: ‘What does normal mean?’ I explained it meant one to three hours of sleep each night. Since I was 12 or 13 years old, I have never slept more than that. That’s normal for me! The counselor had me tested for sleep apnea, prescribed a CPAP oxygen machine, and for the last three nights I have slept for eight hours and feel like a new man.”
Tom was thrilled. Rick’s life was changed.
Almost immediately customers, suppliers, and associates began to ask Rick, “What happened to you?” And Rick was only too happy to tell them.
Rick’s testimony was revolutionized, his smile became infectious, his relationship to his wife and children improved, his entire life became enriched. And Christ deserves all the credit.
In this instance, Christ gave Tom a heart to care about Rick as person and a not just an employee, Christ prompted Tom to confront Rick, Christ gave the two men a relationship, Christ had Rick listen to loving criticism, Christ encouraged Rick to persevere through two tough years of counseling, Christ pressed the counselor to review the background again, and Christ enriched Rick’s life through Tom and the counselor.
What a difference Christ can make in the way a company is run.