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Friday, February 27, 2015

Who Do You Represent?

A few days ago I mentioned some things about my career with Hewlett Packard and their spin off Agilent Technologies.  I spent the majority of my tenure there in supervision in fabrication areas such the Printed Circuit Board prototype shop, the Semi-Ridged Cable shop, the Milling department and lastly in the Plating area.  After about eleven years I left the company to pursue some ministry related passions of mine and then returned about four years later.  In the early stages of each of my starts with the company I also worked as a silk screener and on a production line.
What was always interesting to me was the way that I was perceived when working with customers or venders.  It was not me that they saw, but the company I represented.  My education, training and experience was not in the technical aspects of the job but rather in the arena of personnel and business management.  I always worked closely with our programmers, engineers and technicians and depended on their expertise when dealing with part design and manufacturing, equipment problems and capabilities and in the purchase of new machinery. 
Whenever I or a team of us discussed work related subjects with others outside the company, the individual strengths and/or weaknesses of each of didn’t matter.  Individually or together we “were” Hewlett Packard/Agilent Technologies and spoke and acted for the company.  I remember a couple of large pieces of fabrication equipment that I was acting as the lead in the investigation and eventual purchase of.  One was a high-tech imaging system necessary for the production of PC Boards.  The other was a packaging machine for the protection of the delicate parts that needed to be sent out for plating from an outside vendor.
Both of these pieces of equipment cost many thousands of dollars.  Throughout the investigation process and concluding with the final price and service contract negotiations, the companies I worked with did not ever consider my personal financial status, or my background and character in the consummation of this project.  They knew that I was a bona-fide representative of Hewlett Packard/Agilent Technologies and understood that the company stood behind, supported and would fulfill all the actions and agreements of the finished deal.  I am sure that when I and or any member of our company walked in their door, they saw big money and opportunity and the prestige that would come with their ability to sell their equipment to one of the premiere electronics company in the world!
Jesus conferred this same idea when He spoke through Paul to the Corinthians in II Corinthians 2:14.  Here Paul spoke of our position as a representative of Jesus Christ by declaring: “Now thanks be unto God which (or who) always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.” (KJV)  Many of the commentaries tell us that this verse might also be rendered as “leadeth us in triumph.”  They reference the only other place in the New Testament where this word is used in Colossians 2:15 where it talks of how Jesus triumphed over the enemy of our souls and paraded him and his cohorts in a victory possession through the streets of hell!
II Corinthians 2:14 also declares that we carry the wonderful fragrance or sweet scent of the Kingdom of God with us everywhere we go!  When we step out our front doors each and every day, we represent and carry with us the backing, strength, resources and asset base of the victory that Jesus won for us through the cross, resurrection and His ascension to the right hand of the throne of Papa God!  It is actually FAR MORE than I ever carried with me as a member of the management team at HP/Agilent!  You and I represent the Kingdom of God on this earth!  WOW!
One of the important aspects of our position though, is that we always remember as Paul expressed to the Corinthians, that they see and act in the knowledge that “Jesus is the author of their victory: (that) he constructed the weapons (of our warfare), he instructed the soldiers, (and that) he inspired and gave effort to the strokes.” (The Pulpit Commentary)  In other words, even though He wants and will make a way for our eventual victory, we must always give the glory, honor and praise to Him!  Albert Barnes says that “Paul had no joy which was not connected with Christ, and he had no success which he did not trace to him.”
When I interacted with customers and vendors as an employee of HP/Agilent, I always stepped out with the clear understanding of who I represented and for whom I was conducting this business.  For I alone was but a very small cog in a big wheel.  But as a representative of one of the most successful and largest electronics companies in the world at that time, almost every door and amenity of the business I was pursuing at the time was opened up before me!  The same is true in our positions as representatives of Jesus Christ!
Does that make you think any different about yourself as a Christian?  It should!  Have a terrific weekend.  Stay in tune to God’s Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting to REPRESENT today?”

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