Making a difference changing the world
BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - September 27, 2020 - 12:00am

The conference was about to begin. The emcee was rehearsing her lines. My heart was pounding fast and heavy. The place alone was very intimidating in itself. The Plenary Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center is no ordinary venue for small-time speakers like me but that was not my main concern. But the speaker whom I will be sharing the platform with, well he’s the one who’s giving me the jitters. His face has littered countless numbers of books and his reputation precedes him. His radio program is heard in many countries, he is known in many countries. And here I was, butterflies in my stomach, sharing the speaker’s platform with him.

Oh, how unworthy I felt. He must have seen my nervousness and being the master encourager he was, he approached me, put his arms on my shoulders, and said, “Francis, isn’t it wonderful?” I asked, “What is wonderful?” He said, “Haven’t you noticed what we’re doing? Why it’s the most wonderful job in the world. I wouldn’t trade this for anything else in the world.” At the back of my mind, I was thinking, “well, yeah, sure. It’s easy for you to say. At least you’ve been in this speaking and teaching business for the last 30 or more years.”

And then the next thing he said completely changed my perspective. He says, “You know Francis. The wonderful thing about speaking and teaching is that we get the opportunity to change the world!” This man was right. No wonder he is what he is today. A most respected teacher. A very prolific writer and a very successful speaker. He is Dr. Harold Sala.

I’ve never been the same since. I was feeling uncomfortable because I was focusing on the self. I was considering my limitations and faults. Dr. Sala said you would never know how God uses you and me to make a difference in people’s lives and change the world.

Famous author Max Lucado inspired me too, and his words complemented the encouragement I got from Dr. Sala. In a book he has written, Lucado says: If you ever wonder how God could use you to change the world, look at these people. The people God used to change history.

What can you say about a fellow whose lust got so lusty that he got a woman pregnant, tried to blame it on her husband, had her husband killed, and then went on living like nothing ever happened? Well, you could say he was a man after God’s own heart. David’s track record left a little to be desired, but his repentant spirit was unquestionable...

On and on the stories go. Elijah, the prophet who pouted. Solomon, the king who knew too much. Jacob, the wheeler-dealer. Gomer, the prostitute. Sarah, the woman who giggled at God. One story after another of God using man’s best and overcoming man’s worst.

Even the genealogy of Jesus is salted with a dubious character of two – Tamar, the adulteress, Rahab, the harlot, and Bathsheba, who tended to take baths in questionable locations.

The reassuring lesson is clear. God used (and uses) people to change the world. People! Not saints or super-humans or geniuses, but people. Crooks, creeps, lovers, and liars – he uses them all. And what they may lack in perfection, God makes up for in love.1

You may not be in the speaking or lecture circuit but what you do out there carries the potential to change the world. That newbie in your workplace you help, the boss you encourage, the COVID-fatigue colleague you encourage, that “going-out-of-your-way” to help your client with a problem that is not part of the contract agreement but simply because you want to help. The extra order of food you gave to the staff who clean your office or the extra cash you dish out to those you see working hard to make ends meet.

How sure are you that what you did may have turned out to be an answered prayer from the person who needs it? There is just so much that you can do to change the world. When we look at things from this kind of lenses, what we do is not just a job we have to do. We are delivering meaningful work and changing the world, are we not?

Thank you, Dr. Harold, and thank you, Max Lucado.

(Connect with Francis Kong at Or listen to “Business Matters” Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. over 98.7 DZFE-FM ‘The Master’s Touch,’ the classical music station.)

1   No wonder they call him the savior, Max Lucado

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