Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Not at the Mercy of Others Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to World Events and Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Not at the Mercy of Others Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to World Events and Daily Life

Article excerpt

Hypercompetition is a hot word in corporate restructuring. It was recently defined in this publication as "a new business climate where firms must constantly refine strategies and adapt to stay ahead of competitors." Hypercompetition often involves cutting jobs, lowering salaries, or demoting employees. It's done in an attempt to help a business stay ahead. But what if you're one of the people who have been affected by such actions? In considering this, I thought of something you might not think is relevant at first. But let me explain.

What I thought of was the character Joseph in the Bible. Genesis says, "Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites ... And the Lord was with Joseph ... And his master saw that the Lord was with him . . . . And Joseph found grace in his sight, ... and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand" (39:1-4). Then through a series of events Joseph was falsely accused; all of this was taken away from him and he was thrown into prison. In one sense, he was demoted.

But in prison Joseph continued his reliance on God. And among other accomplishments, he proved himself to be an interpreter of dreams-not exactly something businesses are looking for these days, but highly respected then. Joseph was able to do this because of his love for and loyal trust in God. When the day came that Pharaoh needed a dream interpreted, and no one else who tried could do it, he sent for Joseph. After Joseph told the king what his dream meant, the king replied, "Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the spirit of God is?" He said that he couldn't find anyone as discreet and wise. So he not only put Joseph in charge of his house but made him prime minister over the land, saying, "Only in the throne will I be greater than thou" (41:38-40). Joseph was put in position to save the nation and others from starvation when a famine came--and he did.

So what does this have to do with hypercompetition in 1996? I would say a lot. It's noteworthy that Joseph wasn't spared his losses or the unjust prison sentence. …

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