The following is a true story I read about three men who were all former employees of a well-known, international, Christian organization. Since the company is still in operation today, the story uses only their first initials.
“S” started out as one of the line workers, but his personality grabbed the attention of management, and he soon became a spokesman and, eventually, V.P. of Public Relations.
“J” was the controller, the CFO. He was a great accountant and businessman. He made sure that the needs of the organization were handled well.
“P” originally worked for a competing company and was well-known to everyone in the industry. He was tapped to be the National Sales Manager, though because of differences in the ways the two companies worked, he had to go through some intensive training before he could really get started. But once he did! He ended up opening stores in at least a dozen cities on two continents, and usually hand-picked and trained the store managers personally. He was also probably the best trainer in the business, so they had him write much of the in-house training policies and materials – many of which are still in use today.
Because this was a Christian company, the CEO made it a corporate policy to share the gospel with all new hires. In fact, in the early days, while it was still small, the CEO did this personally. He told them that their sins had caused them to be separated from God, but that God had provided the remedy for the situation by sending a Savior, Jesus Christ. By honestly believing that he is God and that He died as their substitute, they would receive forgiveness for their sins and life forever with God.
At the outset, “J” thought it sounded pretty good. Though he didn’t really believe the Christian stuff, he was glad to be a part of a moral, ethical organization that obviously cared about its people. He was just happy to be doing good work with good people.
“S”, on the other hand, was on board from the minute he heard it. Right there in the CEO’s office he believe in Jesus as the Savior and devoted his life to serving God through his work in the company. His enthusiasm was obvious as he issued press releases and made sales pitches.
“P” was sort of in between. When he heard about God’s salvation through Jesus, he was sure it was true, but he had been in another religion for so long that he had to think about it for a few days. The CEO sent a personal friend to see him a couple of days later, at which time he accepted it wholeheartedly.
Where are they now?
“P” has retired but is still a strong proponent of the company and its work. Much of the material he wrote is still in use throughout the organization.
“S” is also retired. He did really well for the company, though he was written up a few times. He sort of had an ego-problem and didn’t take criticism well. He had a couple of run-ins with the CEO and other upper-level management. A different company would probably have fired him.
“J” is actually a sad story. It turns out, as a financial genius, he was able to cover up the fact that he was embezzling money for a long time. The actual amount he stole is still unknown. He probably would have been forgiven for that, but it came out that he also sold company secrets to the competitor. When confronted about it, he quit and ended up committing suicide.
If this were your story, who would you identify with?
- “J” – Judas Iscariot denied Christ to the very end, even though he looked good and claimed Christ at one time
- “S” – Simon Peter was eager to claim Christ except a couple of times when it was inconvenient
- “P” – Paul of Tarsus went through hell on earth in order to bring other people to Christ
“For since we died together with Him, we will also live together with Him; if we continue to endure, we will also reign together with Him; if we renounce Him, He Himself will also renounce us; if we are unfaithful, He Himself remains faithful, for He is unable to renounce Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:11-13