You don’t know him but Terry Gou has golden tentacles that reach into most of our lives. He is the richest man in Taiwan and has, at age 59, a personal net-worth of about 6 billion dollars. His company is Foxconn and is the largest exporting company out of China. Interestingly, Mr. Gou started his company with a $7,500 loan from his mother to produce television knobs. In only three-decades he expanded to being the world’s dominant consumer electronics manufacturer where his one-million-plus employees churn out iPhones, Sony PlayStations, and Dell computers. This entrepreneur earns a fortune sending out things to other people. He is a financially successful exporter.
Sitting in my truck in traffic yesterday provided me some unscheduled time to think about what regularly flows from my life. What am I exporting into the lives of those around me? Leadership sounds glamorous to people…mostly people who haven’t lived it. The majority of us who have been allowed to lead view the privilege as a huge responsibility, and those of us who lead in the Christian community are aware that the bible speaks volumes concerning the account we will give for how we utilized our influence. We are constantly exporting our words, ideas, missions and, in the case of spiritual leaders, our theology. With the boom of social media, many people have become idea-exporters who gain audiences of Facebook friends, Twitter followers and Instagram groupies. Suddenly, our culture has become one of endless streams of potential influence and I’m not sure that everyone is taking time to think about what is being created in the factory of their heart, packaged on the loading docks of their minds and eventually being exported on the ships of their communication. Chances are, people are listening to you. So what are you exporting? Let me candidly speak of one particular commodity that no longer needs to flow from our lives… or into them.
“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
God does not export fear to you. Anxiety, dread, worry and panic are never sent from Heaven’s shipping lanes. God is not the heavenly conductor of sad choirs who sing minor chords. I’m not saying that life is not difficult at times, even heartbreaking and overwhelming. What I am saying is that God intends for us to welcome Him to remain in the preeminent position of our thought-life. He exports hope and will actually authorize you to import as much of it as you desire. God has given us the Gospel of His Son and, in doing so, wants us to abide confident in our assurance of His beautiful intentions for us. The life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is Gospel history. It is finished and nothing can undo it. The reality of the Gospel also carries the echo effect of God saying to us, “Do not forget that I took perfect care of removing the most haunting element of human existence (death) and that you have my permission to live in confidence that I know how to handle every single lesser thing that seeks to cause your heart to fear.”
Terry Gou exports electronics and has been quite successful at strategizing with others to get us to import his goods at a pretty profit for his companies. God Almighty exports life and hope at a great expense to Himself and doesn’t require a thing from you to import it daily for your immeasurable profit. Today is too great a day for you to import fear. When you do, it is not being sent from God. Anxiety? Smells like it got shipped out straight from hell. Dread and worry wash up on our shores on the tides of circumstance and fatalistic thinking. By the way, there are people who are trying to export their own bitterness, racism, selfishness, vanity and humanism into the ports of your mind. Set up a guardship there and fire off a cannon to let them know that your harbor is already occupied by the God of mercy, forgiveness and grace. You don’t allow their sinking ships to enter your waters. Your life is no salvage yard for undesirable ghost-ships.
We are exporters. Send out something good. Receive what is good – Gospel good – from all the sources God chooses to use in your life. I will never forget the day when a friend of mine who pastors in England bluntly labeled me a doom-merchant. He was right on target with his assessment during that season of my life. In the past, Amy has used gentler words to expose this same thing in my temperament. Sometimes when we are exporting unhealthy cargo we need a stiff-arm and sometimes we need a tender touch. I’m just grateful for people who care enough to tell us when we are manufacturing and shipping out stuff that nobody wants or needs. My wife and children need me to export hope, joy, peace, and godly confidence. Fear, pessimism, dread and doom are not want we want our legacies to smell like. So why not do an inventory of what is currently in stock and make sure it passes inspection before your next shipment? Risk it further and ask some people who love you and care about you what they see leaving your docks most often. This is important because people are listening to you. Yes, you are already an influencer. So be a good one.
Give to the ministry