People over Product

Severyal years ago, my high school coach (Glenn Rudacille) passed away after 57 years in coaching. I remember visiting the funeral home to honor Coach and to reminisce with former players, teachers, coaches and friends. It had been nearly 40 years since I played for him, but it felt like yesterday. You see, he had made an indelible impact on my life. Coach took a special interest in this impressionable high school freshman and for four consecutive years, invested in my life. He regularly encouraged me, demanded a positive attitude and protected me from the hazards of being a teen. He taught me the game of basketball but, more importantly, how to be a man of character. For Coach, it was never about wins and losses. In fact, a  newspaper article said “Coach Rudy never knew his cumulative win-loss record”. Perhaps not, but he knew his players well and all those whom God placed around him. Coach Rudy’s teams won hundreds of games but his legacy won’t be about wins. Instead, it will be about how he loved his players and how he cared more about the player than he did the product. The gym was his workplace and his calling was to positively impact young people. He fulfilled his calling by valuing the player more than the game.    

As believers in the workplace, we often place too much value on the product of our work and not enough on the people around us. How about you? Do you focus too much on “wins” and not enough on those who produce the wins? In other words, do you invest more in your goods, services, bottom line and workplace results at the expense of those who deliver results? As believers, we are called to value people over product.

Jesus valued people more than anything in creation. He said, Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:26). He reinforced this teaching in the parables of the lost sheep (Matthew 18:12) and the lost coin (Luke 15:8-10). Jesus valued human life so much that he died for it (John 3:16). Do we value others enough to sacrifice ourselves for them?

Your workplace challenge is to place people over product. Take an interest in the lives of those around you, care for them during times of trouble and show compassion in times of need. Jesus valued people more than anything and so should we. Make today count for His glory.