Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our 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.
Have you ever considered the following conundrum: When presented with a clear explanation of the good news of Jesus Christ, why do so many marketplace leaders resist His free offer of forgiveness and leadership? After all, is not this particular good news the best of all possible news?
It is not as though we lack current examples of marketplace leaders who have accepted Jesus’ offer and chosen to follow Him. In fact, after a careful, unbiased examination of the evidence, many marketplace leaders and other successful people including professionals, academics and even scientists (yes, scientists!) have concluded that the good news really is true. As a result, they have decided to entrust their lives to Jesus’ leadership.
So why is there so much resistance? Many issues are undoubtedly at play here. For example, these marketplace leaders might not focus on the message because their time is fully invested in many other activities and responsibilities. Alternatively, they perceive that becoming a Christian requires disagreeable changes in lifestyle from the one they currently enjoy.
Perhaps the biggest barrier relates to surrender; that is, becoming a follower of Jesus means surrendering to His leading in every area of our lives. It begins with accepting His offer of forgiveness but it does not stop there. In fact, Jesus calls us to surrender our will to His on a daily basis.
There is one act of surrender that leads to genuine freedom.
Before I became a follower of Jesus, the whole concept of surrender was unpalatable. After all, was it not Winston Churchill, the great wartime leader, who said, “we shall never surrender”! Merriam-Webster defines surrender as “to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand.” To me, the concept of surrender smacked of failure and personal inadequacy. In this context, some marketplace leaders view Christianity as a crutch for those unable to cope with the harsh realities of life.
Paradoxically, I have experienced genuine freedom since I surrendered to Jesus in my thirties. This includes freedom from needing the approval of others, freedom to admit the obvious truth that I don’t know everything (only God does) and freedom from the fear of failure. Most importantly, I am free from the shame associated with wrongdoing because Jesus has already paid my penalty and I am forgiven.
Words cannot really express the freedom and joy I experienced when I made my peace with God, who created me in His image for His purposes. Because of my positive experience, I encourage you to explore this and other big life discussions by trying one of our professional peer groups. There you will find many marketplace leaders who have also discovered the joy of surrender. As usual, Jesus said it best.
“So if the Son [Jesus] sets you free, you are truly free.” (John 8:36, NLT)
Are you free?
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.