The Word of God works. Truett Cathy proved it—not that it needs proving, but celebrating wisdom’s victories is enjoyable and profitable! Cathy, the Chick-fil-A founder who died this week, left a legacy to learn from. His franchise began with and operates from a biblical foundation. And, as they say, the proof is in the pudding (or the chicken, rather!). The very Mission Statement of the enterprise includes “to glorify God.” Each life mission draws closer to its purpose when we build on the same foundation:
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17
From family life to franchising, wisdom from the Word of God produces solid results. The living nature of the Word allows each person to apply that wisdom in unique ways to unique situations. It is not time-bound or situational. So, what are some foundational principles Truett Cathy employed that might work for you and me? Serving others has to be at the top of the list. Team-building with others of like passion and keeping eternity in our vision are critical as well. We all long to live lives of meaning that leave a legacy. Building on the Cornerstone is the only way, and the Word gives us our blueprint.
Jesus set the example for serving others. Both Matthew and Mark recorded the great truth that the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve. Our King and our Savior chose to serve his own subjects, yet often we want to be served. Our ideas, our preferences, our desires reign above the concerns of others. That is not a foundation of serving others. The essence of serving others is to look out for their interests. As ones who bear the name of Christ, we, too, ought to consider ourselves here to serve. Not only to serve, but to serve with joy. Hebrews 13:17 tells us Jesus endured even the Cross in his service for us—with joy. Let each aim to serve others with joy as Jesus did.
We are made for fellowship with Christ and with other believers. While we are to serve all, our team members need the same life mission: glorifying God. The immense creativity of God distributed gifts to all men. Using those gifts is the privilege of each individual, and our gifts are honed when we are in partnership with others. Integrity to the character of Christ drives each team member and all lives grow strong together. The prayer of Christ (in John 17) sought unity for believers and life has a rock-solid foundation when that principle is followed.
Finally, lives that are centered on eternity have foundations for reaching the heights. Short-sighted, selfish decisions come about when eyes settle on short-term goals. The eternity-minded life reaches farther and stays the course with greater perseverance. It is a life that builds others up at the same time and lifts the eyes of others to eternity as well. Get-rich-quick schemes and self-indulgent shortcuts destroy lives. Perseverance toward the goal—running the race God has set before us (Hebrews 12:1)—is legacy-building living!
Each of these principles are present in the Cathy legacy. May we each build with the same discipline and courage!