Saturday, March 14, 2009
Let Me Hear You Shout....Kaizen!!
2 Corinthians 3:18 "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
改善 is the Japanese word "Kaizen". It is a "Japanese philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life." (www.wikipedia.org). My father-in-law Buck first told me about this practice which they have implemented at his office furniture manufacturing company where he works. This philosophy started in Japanese businesses, including Toyota, which has made them so competitive in the world. Now many American manufactures are adopting the same philosophy in order to compete. The philosophy teaches that you can always make work processes easier, eliminate waste, and improve production. Simply put, there's always room for improvement.
In an earlier blog, I talked about change. We all can change if we want to. But equally important for us to understand, is that change is not a one shot deal, a once in a lifetime occurrence. Some Christians think that once you give your life to Christ and get saved, you clean up the big things, and then that's it. We think as long as we change the really big, obvious things and clean ourselves up enough to go to church, then all we have to do is hold on until the Lord comes. But really and truly God wants us to practice continuous improvement in our lives.
Paul wrote that we are being transformed, the word "being" implying that we are in the process of change. Not, we have changed, but we are being changed. The $5 seminary term is "regeneration". If we truly believe in Jesus, and confess that He is real and we really need Him (Romans 10:9) we are saved in that very moment. That is, the road we will take when we die changes from south-bound to north-bound, if you get my drift. That happens immediately, but our transformation or regeneration is only getting started, and it will continue until we part this life or the Lord returns. So...there is always room for improvement.
Its like cleaning up your house. You first clean up the obvious, the things visitors will see when they come over. You wash the dishes, make the beds, and sweep the floors. We do that as Christians; we stop stealing, cheating, lying, and cursing (at least while others are watching :) But the Lord does not want us to stop there. There is room for Kaizen. What about the cobwebs in the corner, the dirt under the couch...the gossiping, the jealousy that hides in your heart, the anger, hurt and unforgiveness that you hold on to.
Brothers and sisters, let's move forward. Let's allow God to continue to improve us. As Christians, its like we're swimming up river. Its hard, but with God's power it can be done. But you have to keep on striving, pushing, praying, and obeying. You have to keep swimming. The moment that you stop trying, that river will carry you back. Let me hear you shout KAIZEN!!!