During the last several days, my wife and I have been traveling in Israel. In fact, I'm writing this blog in Tel Aviv. It's a work assignment for me. Tough duty. Actually, it's been work and pleasure for both of us.
This is my fifth trip. Our tour buses come equipped with Israeli tour guides, all Jewish. They have a unique and, from my perspective, a challenging assignment.
Each day these guides share insights on biblical sites. They know their Israel history to be sure. But they also know a remarkable amount of the New Testament and they treat it as if it is true. Please understand that I have no doubt these accounts of the Scriptures ARE true.
A few of the guides are what we refer to as Messianic Jews...followers of Jesus of Nazareth. Most are not. Yet many of the travelers conclude that these guides embrace the same beliefs the group members do. Ask them directly and they'll tell you. But they speak as if they are convinced these events are real so as not to offend.
Is there a problem here? An interesting question. I say this because of a conviction that the best employees are ones who believe in their company, the mission, and the product or service. I realize that is a sliding scale.
Is it somewhat disingenuous to go out and pretend you believe while representing your company? Do you lack integrity or authenticity by becoming an actor for personal gain? And if you really don't believe, so to speak, why not find a place to work where you love the business or non profit you represent?
An interesting variation of this issue happened with a senior member of our company. Years ago, he was selling advertising at a radio station whose effectiveness he did not question. But he was listening each day to our faith-based station in the market. One day, he decided he should consider a similar position at the radio station that fed his soul. The rest is history.
Now, it could be fairly argued that actors make a living by portraying characters whose personalities are not the same as theirs. Even Joe Namath can be seen in an infomercial pitching some lakeside real estate. Is he being authentic or making a desperate buck? Who knows.
All this is said to encourage you to consider this question about your own work. And if you find sufficient dissatisfaction in the role you are playing, perhaps you would find more happiness in a place you love. And one in which you truly believe.
Jesus confronted those who were not true believers. In Matthew 7, it's recorded that Jesus said, "Not every one who says to me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." (NIV) Thus, actions speak more powerfully than words.
Living true to our calling is a wonderful thing. Living in Truth in all of life is even better.
I must go now. My camel is waiting.