Most likely you have seen a Facebook or Youtube video by a guy named Simon Sinek talking about millennials in the work place. If you have not seen it, then you can check it out here. Sinek gives his views on some characteristics of millennials and how their upbringing has shaped and formed who they are. I could spend some time talking about the views on that and how it relates to the Gospel, (which I may do in a later post), but I want to talk about Sinek’s follow up video.
Many people thought that Sinek was giving millennials an “out” by saying that their upbringing was, “No fault of their own. They were dealt a bad hand.” Sinek addresses this issue to say that he was not trying to give them an “out” and take responsibility away from them, but rather to describe why they are the way they are so that we can have empathy with them.
Why is this important to Sinek? Because empathy is key to begin to help others. Sinek wonders why there is an entire “Self-Help” section in book stores and not a “Help-Others” section.
“It’s proven to me that we need a new industry. We need an industry called ‘help-others’ industry; where we practice empathy on a regular basis; that we share ideas and write articles all about how we can empathize and help others go through life.” -Simon Sinek: More on the Millennial Question
I LOVE this thought and it intrigues me because there is so much of the Gospel, the Christian life, and how the Church should operate wrapped up in it. To my knowledge, Sinek isn’t a Christian. He mostly appeals to leadership in businesses. Though I find it interesting that what Sinek is saying is what the Bible has been saying for thousands of years.
We see in the early Church that the model was always supposed to be helping others.
“And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had needed.” -Acts 2:44-45 (Emphasis mine)
The Church was a group where people did not come together to find a way to help themselves, but rather a place where the outlook was, “What can I do to help you in life and lead you to Jesus?” We see this even more in Acts 11. The first Gentile church was formed in Antioch and a great famine came upon the region. The Gentile church decided to send resources and food to the Jewish church in Judea.
“So the disciples determined, everyone according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea.” -Acts 11:29
If you do not know, there had been a great tension between the Jews and the Gentiles at this time. The Jews had elevated themselves above the Gentiles because they were “God’s-chosen-people” for hundreds of years and hated the Gentiles. Though, what did the Gospel do the the Gentile church? When the opportunity came, they did not sit back and laugh at them. But being changed by the Gospel, they saw fellow believers and did all they could to help them.
How often do we do this today? Even non-Christian, business philosophers are acknowledging that the key to progress is not doing everything you can to better yourself, but rather doing everything you can to better others. The Church should be leading this cause because we had this “great insight” since Jesus and the Apostles!
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy by be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” -John 15:11-12 (Emphasis mine)
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” -Galatians 6:2 (Emphasis mine)
These concepts are foundational to the Gospel and to the Church. As Christians, we should be pioneering the charge to have empathy on others so that we may help others. God could have absolutely written us off and gone the direction to only better Himself. But He didn’t. And thank the Lord that He didn’t! Instead:
“Being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” -Philippians 2:8 (Emphasis mine)
Sinek understands that empathy and helping others is the key to progress in life as a community. Christians should understand this concept better than anyone because of Jesus. We have empathy on others because Christ had empathy on us. We help others because Christ helped us. (1 John 4:10-11)