Saturday, July 19, 2008

A lesson from Johnny Bunko (Part 2)

A World that I'm Partly Made of: A lesson from Johnny Bunko (Part 1)

This is my second installment about Dan Pink's manga comic book about career planning. The Adventures of Johnny Bunko is a comic book written to with 6 lessons to help the young (or old) career minded person to understand their search for the right path in a different way. In part 1, I reviewed the first two lessons of JB and how they relate to Biblical principles. In part two, I'll continue with the middle to lesson.

I must remind readers that there is no evidence that Pink has a particular world view. Still, I think that Pink understands the needs of humans, particularly to be creative, and in his understanding human, I see some principles based in scripture that should be highlighted. These principles are important for every teen, college student, parent or employee to understand.

To review, the 6 lessons of Johnny Bunko are:
· There is no plan
· Think strengths, not weaknesses
· It's not about you
· Persistence trumps talent
· Make excellent mistakes
· Leave an imprint
I'll focus on the middle two lessons (in bold) in this post.

It's not about you. This should be the most obviously Christian principle. Jesus makes it clear that life is not about us; it’s ultimately about God. And if life is about serving God, we are to serve other's needs ahead of our own needs.

The Great Commandments, to love God and to love your neighbor (Mark 12:30-31), are Jesus clear directive that life isn't about yourself, but about serving God through others. It's hard to find a point in scripture bring the point that we are not to live for our own needs yet, too often we are caught in that trap that we set for ourselves.

God give people freedom, and that freedom can be used for serving selfish desires, but Paul makes it clear that serving selfish needs is sinful behavior. Serving others in love is God hope for our freedom (Galatians 5:13). It makes sense to me that if we are serving others and, therefore, in God's will, he will bless us.

In some post in the Johnny Bunko blog, I get the feeling that we are to use serving others as service to ourselves. I think this point can be twisted. If it is not about me, then it can be that I'm serving others in hopes that they will lift me up. Unfortunately, I've read this sort of stuff in many Christian leadership books. We don't serve others hoping that they will serve us well. We serve others (or principles) because it is right. The reward is doing what is right!

Persistence trumps talent. A few years ago, my daughters were invited to work as ball girls for the high school's girl’s soccer team. As a reward for their service, the coach gave them each one of the team's t-shirts. On the front, the shirts said, "SOUTH." On the back, the coach had printed his philosophy, "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." He team went on to win the state championship that year. That was a good example for my daughters to have before them. They still wear those shirts on occasion.

Hard work is a form of persistence. Longevity is another. Sticking through a difficult situation is persistence. The book of James challenges us to consider trails as pure joy. Why? Because they develop persistence and that persistence ultimately leads to our perfection (James 1). This perfection will be fully developed when God makes all things new, but I think he develops it in this temporal world too (2 Corinthians 10:13).

I hope this information is help. I'll complete the final two lessons in the next few days.