Saturday, October 8, 2016

Are Your Internal Policemen Doing Their Job?

Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent.
Deuteronomy 16:18-19

Fred Wilson is a Jewish American real estate mogul who practices Transcendental Meditation. He has a burden to teach others how to improve their lives in general and particularly their job performance. As a young man he brought the same competitive spirit that made him a successful tennis player to his job as a real estate salesman. Unfortunately, at this time of his life he was living the life of the rich and famous on borrowed money. He was such an outstanding salesman he could always make a few more calls and sell his way out of any financial problem. However, the stress of this lifestyle was taking its toll on his psychological health, his physical well being, and his marriage. When he finally reached the breaking point he told his employer he was leaving and he wasn’t sure he was ever coming back.

After a self imposed three week spiritual retreat, he decided to return, but there were going to be some changes. Taking these two verses from the Torah, he decided he needed to set up his own internal judges and policemen (here translated as officials) to keep himself on the straight and narrow. He also decided that living on borrowed money was tantamount to accepting a bribe. He reached this conclusion by reasoning buying something with borrowed money allowed him to enjoy benefits he hadn’t earned, just like a corrupt official accepting a bribe to pervert justice. It just wasn’t going to happen again in his life—and I thought Dave Ramsey was hard on debt!

As a part of his effort to judge and to improve his life, he came up with this test he takes once every three months. He gives himself a numerical score in each of five categories from 0-20 for a possible maximum score of 100.

1) Rest—This includes adequate amounts of sleep, breaks during work, and vacations to renew the soul.

2) Exercise—Appropriate balance physical exercise. In his case this meant not attempting to set a personal record every time he laced up his jogging shoes and stepped out of the door.

3) Administration—Time management, maintaining your personal financial responsibilities, and taking care of all the mundane everyday tasks of life such as cooking, housekeep chores, maintaining family automobiles, etc. etc.

4) Diet—As a competitive athlete he considers diet to be an important component of a healthy balance life.

5) Inner Work—Moving toward your goals, keeping your priorities straight, prayer, meditation, or other spiritual practices, and living according to your own moral standards.

The first time he took this test, I believe he scored himself at 56, a failing grade using the traditional ten point system. His most recent score was an 82, a B-. Was he too hard on himself or too easy? Who can say? If he maintains a constant scale over time it really doesn’t matter. I gave myself a 60, a D. My wife gave me 71, a C-. In both cases my grade point total was ruined by diet. There is only one word to describe my dietary habits, abysmal.

If I could ask Fred Wilson one question it would be, “Where does family and personal relationships figure into your five categories?” It is obvious that family and helping others are very high priorities to Wilson, but which categories are affected by service to others?

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