If you haven’t seen it, the TV show Undercover Boss is a refreshing and entertaining perspective on how Bosses come to better appreciate the people and processes that make up their business. In the show a CEO goes “undercover” (in disguise – see picture on left) usually taking on an entry-level job at their company in order to better understand what’s happening “out in the real world” where customers are. As a result of being out in the field, the CEO invariably sees things that need to be fixed.
Along the way, the CEO Boss gets to know some of the employees who persevere day-in and day-out to make the company what it is. They also learn of employees’ personal struggles such as health issues, the burdens of college debt, caring for sick elderly parents, having to work two jobs and other life challenges. Some employees share life-long dreams they’ve always desired, but just didn’t have the resources. The CEO’s heart begins to grow quite fond of these hard working employees who deal with adversity at work and often forgo their own dreams to deal with challenges at home.
At the end of the show the Boss sits down with each employee and unveils his true identity – the company Boss. After the CEO lays out his plans for needed changes at the company….he goes a step further.
At this point, he or she will often ask about the employee’s sick child and then offer to pay all the medical bills! To help an employee live out a dream of living in Ireland, he may offer him or her a job and free relocation! The Boss may learn of a large financial debt and agree to wipe it out – all $50,000 or whatever. On one recent show, the CEO of a resort property gave a field maintenance worker a new truck and paid off another employee’s mortgage – $150,000- so both he and his wife would not have to work two jobs.
Wealth….great wealth….handed over as a gift…scott-free to people in need. No strings attached…..this is good…real good!
The gifts and extra compensation mean so much to the struggling employees – tears of joy stream down cheeks, cries of thanks and shocked employees hug the Boss as though life had returned to their world.
Life change in an instant.
To me, inside the CEO’s sincere love and care for the employees is a glimpse of who God is — rich, full of goodness, attentive to our concerns, caring, astounding in giving….
If you don’t know this personal God, or if you know Him and just want to relish in His goodness….read on.
God Knows Us
In Undercover Boss the CEO only briefly meets and works with the employees. Yet in that short period of time – through their relationship – he comes to admire them, have compassion for their plight and come to their aid. God, on the other hand, knows us intimately…He knows what you ate for breakfast and He knows what your greatest fear is …He knows us and loves us deeply…He is like a perfect Father who wants to provide richly for His kids – like the Boss does – but more, much more. He so wants to give each of us a rich life….I didn’t say a life of riches….but a rich life….a life that honors Him and serves others.
Relationship Connects Death to Life
The wonderful changes the Boss makes at the company and the riches he pours out on the employees happen because the Boss proactively comes to the employee and a relationship forms. Relationship…personal relationship…is the oil of life. In the spiritual realm, Christ comes to us and offers a relationship that brings life. In fact, He comes to us each day, in the midst of our fears and sometimes desperate plight to offer hope and peace and life to the full.
The Cost of the Gift
The short relationship the Boss has with the employees and the ensuing business changes and personal gifts may seem like a big cost to us. However, the gift that God gives us – the gift of eternal life – cost Him dearly….the hideous death of His only son, Jesus Christ. Christ, dying on a torturous cross, bore our sin debt, so that we could escape eternal seperation in Hell and have a direct, amazing and personal relationship with God Himself. God must have thought we were worth it, as the famous Bible verse John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world (you and me) that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life“.
Heavy Burdens Lifted in an Instant
Because of the generosity of the Boss, the employees’ lives changed in an instant – despair, burden and pain converted to joy in mere seconds. When a $25,000 college debt is wiped clean a nearly instant joy and change of life ensues. Similarly, when we accept Christ as our savior and surrender our will to Him …we instantly become a part of His family and we open vast storehouse of His wealth. When we surrender our individual days to Him we gain instant life. His riches and grace can instantly turn poverty of spirit and despair into lives filled with peace and joy.
Gifts with Long-Lasting Value and Impact
Unlike the temporary nature of the CEO’s generous gifts, those who are down-trodden spiritually receive a gift of everlasting life and love from God by way of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. His storehouses are completely full, His vast amounts of redemption and grace cannot be measured…..He is far richer than any human CEO and offers more pressing gifts than even a mortgage. He offers the promise of a day-in and day-out rich life of abiding joy and peace and the gift of eternal life in Heaven with Him. Worldly gifts bring welcomed temporary relief but cannot provide constant inner joy and fulfillment. But the gift of God brings life to the full as John 10:10 says about the reason Jesus came to earth, “A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.”
Your Identity – Child of a King or Employee of a Boss?
In the kingdom of God, you are not an employee…you are a child in a family…..and your wonderful Father has a treasure of grace just for you. Outstretch your arms to Him today and receive his blessing…..whether you’ve been a Christian for 15 years or do not know God in a personal way….bring your cares to Him, confess your need for Him, acknowledgement who He is, humble yourself toward Him and begin to obey Him and you will find a rich blessing in your heart and in your life that will last an eternity.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved” (Eph. 2:4–5).
John 14:23-24 (NIV) Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
Romans 6:23 (NIV) “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
– Heaven’s Riches –
A life once soiled by sin and strife,
Long days of brokenness.
Awaken now and light pours forth
Then joy surrounds, as the soul says yes!
Heaven’s riches, open now,
Both love and grace bestow.
At surrender’s call, a link is made
From heaven to earth below.
So pray to God His gift you take;
Unwrapped each day I plead
For missing out on God’s great plan
To death it only leads.