Many people dream of being a CEO or earning lots of money, but one must make huge sacrifices. Some people have fame and fortune all together, but lose families and friends and end up being unhappy. Fred Lin, CEO of Payless Car Rental System Inc. (one of the top four U.S. car rental companies), and Ziqi Zhu shared their experiences in living a balanced life during a workshop at the 2012 International Christian Entrepreneurs Conference.
Lin and Zhu are both Christians, and they frankly stated that there often is not enough time to spare in their lives. Family, society, service, and work all take up time, so it is important to develop strategies to balance these key aspects.
First of all, Zhu emphasized the importance of family. He said that family is the foundation, which includes self, the spouse, and the children. Quoting Psalms 1, he said that if a Christian knows God and follows God's will, he will be like a tree planted next to flowing waters, bearing fruit at the right time, and its leaves will not grow dry. How can we know God and follow God's will? How can we know what God wants us to do?
Zhu borrowed the principle held by the U.S. Olympic Committee, stating that first we have to know our gifts, and know ourselves. Lin shared that we can discover our gifts through hobbies, personalities, and actions put to work, and then use our knowledge of the Bible's values to glorify God and benefit others. Second, it is to find people and ways of training that suit us, and continue to train ourselves using suitable methods, to ultimately understand that the will of God is for Him to be glorified through us.
Lin then stated that spousal issues are the biggest problem in this generation. Although the books of Ephesians and Colossians both emphasize that the sisters should submit to their husbands, this is not a condition to gain love, but a result of love. When a believer comes to know about the deepness of Christ’s love for us, he will naturally submit to God. If there are brothers who say that the sisters are not submissive to them, then they should first ask themselves whether they have loved enough.
Moreover, Lin shared an example from his life experience, explaining to the sisters that only when they submit to their husbands can they fully educate their children fully. He said that his mother followed the children's way of addressing his father's sister as aunt, and thus set up a good example for the children.
Finally, both speakers shared how to educate children, and stressed the importance for children to help with household chores. Lin stated that children should be trained to do their part from the age of 5, such as doing laundry and putting their own dishes into the dishwasher. Then they should be trained to perform more complex tasks. Through household chores, children can be trained to be a responsible person, and as they grow up, they will not rely on others to take care of them. Besides household chores, parents should also teach their children how to manage finances, make friends, and appreciate others.
When speaking of how to educate children, the speakers also interacted with parents from the audience who voiced their concerns. Lin focused on one family's issues around children, who do not do any household chores, and suggested that they can participate in domestic skills classes, and that household chores can be developed as a hobby for children.
Many Christians say that they are busy and do not have time to participate in community activities, and thus are not able to be the salt and light of society. The speakers then shared on how to tackle this problem: Christians could choose to activities that relate to their children, professions, or companies. For example, when your child plays soccer in the community, go and be the coach, which will save you both time and get you involved. They also quoted the Bible to exhort to not just mind your own matters, but that of the public.
Zhu and Lin spoke on the two focuses: lonely brothers and the hurts to the Church. In the church, brothers do not usually communicate what is truly in their hearts, and thus brothers often seem strong on the surface, but in reality, they are very lonely. Brothers like to be physically active, and thus they can improve communication through sporting events such as badminton. Aside from sports, the speakers also encouraged brothers to read a spiritual book together and then share their thoughts afterwards to bond with each other.
Although the church is a place of love, but at times it is also a place of hurt. There can be disagreements between pastors and elders, where certain churches may as a result split, so Lin urged for believers to be peacekeepers. If the church is separated, not only will those who are involved get hurt, the congregations will also be affected, and it would then make spreading the gospel very difficult.
Many Christians have problems with their employers, and are not willing to flatter their superiors. Zhu and Lin used the stories of Daniel and Joseph to teach Christians how to improve relationships with employers. First, God gave their masters dreams, and Daniel and Joseph gained trust and favor by interpreting these dreams. The speakers told Christians to first receive God's help. They then used the example of the argument between Daniel and the Eunuch to explain how to resolve an argument – to explain very kindly their perspectives to their employers and thus leading them. Employers want their employees to help them prosper, and not to contradict with them or to flatter them. The key is how to lead our employers and others when we see that our employers are at fault. The speakers encouraged us to apply the truth even in the work environment.
Zhu and Lin encouraged the attendants to speak appropriate and pleasant words, and emphasized that even though the truth may sound pleasant, but it is not flattery.
The 2nd International Christian Entrepreneur Conference took place from September 29 to October 3 in Houston, Texas, where many seasoned speakers shared with the attending entrepreneurs the moral standards, leadership strategies, and business doctrines that Christian businessmen should have, in aims to teach local and international Chinese entrepreneurs how to more fully and vastly ponder and practice the Biblical values in their respective businesses and lives.
[Editor's note: Carol Lee translated the article.]