Amazon is an amazing company. They can deliver almost any kind of product in practically any amount of time needed. They have incredible customer service and return policies, and they are at the forefront of technology. But Amazon is in hot water after a recent NY Times article. And Amazon’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, isn’t happy with complaints he is hearing about his company.
Now, frankly, some complaints have more merit than others. Several are only news because Amazon is a heavily regulated public company. Complaints about having to respond to midnight e-mails and undergoing daily performance reviews smack of a labor force that has grown accustomed to the benefits of collective bargaining. People in small, private businesses just call that “Tuesday.”
But some of the issues were serious. And Bezos was unforgiving toward his managers who deal out retribution against employees who had family tragedies or serious health issues. Bezos said he would not tolerate such “callous management practices.”
What got my attention, though, is that Bezos said that he doesn’t “recognize” the company in the article as the one he knows, loves, and runs. And he hoped that employees don’t either. He said that the company in the article would be a “soulless, dystopian workplace” that he hopes Amazon never actually becomes.
Sometimes people write negative things about the Church too. And when I hear complaints, I know that some have more merit than others. Sometimes, people just like to complain. But other times, people have been treated in a way that is not in line with the beliefs and practices of the church’s founder.
So what would Jesus do? What would He say if He read an article about what the church is doing today? How would He react? Well, in some ways, He already has.
In Revelation 2 and 3, Jesus responded to issues in the church that had “made the news” of that day. His message was very similar to Bezos’ recent review of His company: that’s not the place I founded, and if anyone is acting like that, I’ll remove them from their position.
But Jesus’ criticism of the congregations had a bite: if you don’t shape up, I’ll personally remove your light. To put it in business jargon, it would be better to shut down the company than run it opposed to the founder’s vision. And Jesus means business.
Amazon is a neat company. But it isn’t eternal. The church is forever. And the true church, the one Jesus died for is a beautiful thing. I am thankful for the church and for all the good it does. But all must be done in the name of Christ.
Jesus envisioned His believers acting as one, in accordance with His will (John 17). So let’s take a note from Amazon’s woes, and make sure that we are acting in accordance with our Founder’s vision…and that He recognizes us as His (MT 25:21).