Posted by: Mike Willoughby | November 2, 2009

The Good Stuff


Richard Beasley has a favorite saying for something he really appreciates.  Richard will say, “That’s the Good Stuff!”  The other day, we were having lunch and discussing the joy of watching our kids as they perform on the football field, using the talents God gave them.  Richard said, “That’s the Good Stuff, brother!”  I think we all probably understand “Good Stuff.”  We’re not talking about ordinary every-day stuff – the kind of average forgettable stuff that flows by us all the time.  We’re talking about something that really makes a difference.  Jesus teaches us about the “Good Stuff” in the following story from the New Testament book of Mark.

As Jesus went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?” Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother.”  He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!”
This man had been doing good things his entire life and sought a stamp of approval from Jesus that would affirm he was on the right track.  A parallel account in the New Testament book of Matthew says the man came to Jesus asking what good thing he should do to inherit eternal life.  It seems the man thought of good deeds as if they were medals on his spiritual dress uniform or award certificates for his spiritual wall.  Jesus looked into the man’s heart, knew immediately the man’s weakness and out of love for the man taught him about the “Good Stuff.”  Jesus did not give the man the affirmation he sought nor did He throw out a few helpful tips on worthy deeds he could perform to seal his entrance into heaven.  In response to the man’s question Jesus told him that he needed to be completely transformed!

Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”  The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.

Jesus knew the problem was not with what the man did but who the man was.  The problem with the man was his orientation.  The man was self-oriented rather than being others-oriented.  Before ministering to the man’s needs, Jesus first had to reorient the man’s thinking about the nature of goodness by reminding the man that the source of all goodness in the universe is found in the person of Jehovah God.  This Godly type of goodness is shown in us through our love for our fellow man.  God doesn’t necessarily demand that we all sell everything we own and live in poverty.  “The Good Stuff” isn’t defined by material possessions or a pile of money.  God does demand that we live our lives with an others-orientation as we seek after the best interests of those around us.  He expects us to be transformed from self-oriented people into others-oriented people!

If you read my last article, you will remember that I said we would spend a little more time looking at United Supermarkets’ model for treating people right and you might be wondering how United fits in with this Bible story.  The answer is that the United Corporation can teach us a lesson about becoming others-oriented.

You should know that United does a great many good deeds in their workplace and in their community.  Their award-winning UCrew program is an all-volunteer service program where United team members get involved in their communities, give back to their neighborhoods and strengthen co-worker relationships.  They also run a program called United We Care that manages a fund for the benefit of United team members that run into financial difficulties due to unexpected tragedies such as significant health problems.  The volunteer managers of United We Care work to make sure the basic needs of their fellow team members are met in difficult times.  There many other good works and worthy deeds that are done by the company and its team members, but these works alone do not make the company good in the Godly sense.  United’s people-first philosophy and others-orientation makes the company good.

United’s CEO, Dan Sanders writes, “Organizations that make people and service the cornerstones of their corporate identity enjoy sustainability.”  Dan understands that in order to do good in this world, organizations and people must first be prepared to be good in this world.  By being a people-first organization, United has become more than just a business that does good – United is a business that is good.  As Richard would say, “that’s the Good Stuff, brother!”

Dan makes a special point in Built to Serve that these good works are organized and directed by volunteers within United.  You can have an impact on helping your organization be good.  Take another lesson from Dan at the folks at United and take advantage of programs available in your company such as United Way and other community assistance programs to make a difference in your community.  If your company doesn’t have an organized community assistance program, organize one.  Last week, several volunteers in my company, PFSweb, organized a departmental penny war and raised money for Special Olympics.  It was just a fun little fund-raising exercise, but it will make a difference in the lives of some very deserving special needs athletes.  This week, let’s all focus on working to be people-first and others-oriented in every area of our lives!  Jesus says we’ll be piling up treasure in heaven.

Until next week,

Meet me at the intersection!



  1. So happy you write Intersections. Such good stuff.

  2. Good stuff! Dan Sanders was at LCU when I was in high school…he is a great guy!

  3. ‘Good Stuff’, bro…how much better is life when we focus on what matters most…great reminder for the week. BTW, let me know if you need a loaner car…Heath isn’t legal until Dec…

  4. I look forward to all your blogs. They are all good stuff and your example to everyone around makes us want to be a distributor of “good stuff” to others also.

  5. Thanks for the Good Stuff! I know you dont write this for your own acknowledgement, but your still a great example to me and the rest of the Wade family.

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