Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our former Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” ~Jesus
This series of posts explores the topic “knowing God” – what it is, what it is not, why it is important, how it is possible and why it is relevant to marketplace leaders in the twenty-first century.
While I can’t remember many details of my early years, I vividly recall the day at age five I figured out how to earn God’s favour! I was really excited. It seemed so simple – all I had to do was always think only good thoughts, love everyone and obey my parents! Easy, right?
Within a very short time, my balloon popped. I missed those “easy” goals! Ambition in tatters, I had a second epiphany. Moral perfection in thought or deed was unattainable. In an instant, I came face-to-face with the “dark side” of me!
As it happens, seeking credit is a natural instinct. In the investment world I inhabited for many years, incentives are typically directly tied to investment performance. And in business generally, most successful enterprises incorporate goals and programs that link compensation and advancement to the achievement of agreed goals.
In fact, it can be argued that humanity naturally defaults to viewing life through a performance prism. Consistent with this “default setting,” world religions are generally based upon the premise we can appease God’s displeasure with our unrighteous conduct (aka “sin”) through good deeds. In this context, God is generally perceived as distant, impersonal and unknowable.
In stark contrast, Christianity is not about earning God’s favour but rather entering into a living, intimate relationship with a knowable, personal God. The Bible asserts that the barrier to our knowing God is our unbelief in Him and/or our indifference to Him. It also asserts that our souls continue to exist after physical death and that the consequence of our sin is eternal torment.
It follows that our deepest need (often unfelt) is for someone with both the ability and the willingness to save us from eternal torment as a direct result of leading our lives without reference to God. According to the Bible, we can only satisfy this need by entering into a living relationship with God.
As previously mentioned, I encountered Jesus one day in my thirties while not seeking Him. Rather, I was looking for the meaning I could not find in the normal course of my professional and personal life. That day, Jesus revealed himself to me with the words, “I am alive.”
In an instant, I knew it was true and that my search for genuine meaning was over. Quite simply, He made me alive to Him and my greatest desire became knowing Him better and following His lead in both my professional and personal life. Since then, I have never forgotten nor regretted that decision.
If you don’t know God and want to, please hit this link. Next week, I will turn to how knowing God is relevant to every facet of our professional and personal lives.
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.