Think Different
By: Tom Norvell

Vol. 14 No. 35 | August 28, 2011

Steve Jobs resigned last week after 14 years as Apple's CEO. Jobs literally changed the world of computers, technology, and communication by introducing us to the iMac desktop computer (1998), the iPod (2001), the iPhone (2007), and the iPad (2010). He was involved with the licensing of the Mac OS to third-party hardware companies, and the Newton personal digital assistant. The iTunes Music Store came along in 2003, which has since become the top music retailer in the U.S. Under his leadership Apple rallied from a company in ruins in 1997 to where it now sits on a cash reserve of more than $76 billion. (MacWorld)

His commitment to creative innovation and marketing is evident in this and other versions of the Think Different commercial and is one of the things I appreciate most about the legacy Jobs left. He thought different, and encouraged others to think different. Because of the willingness to think differently and act on those thoughts, Jobs and Apple helped change the world.

Although Jobs will be remembered for his technical and marketing genius, he was not the first to suggest that we "Think Different."

Two thousand years earlier as Jesus trained His disciples to change their world, He told them that they, too, must "think different."

In Mark 10, after a dispute among his disciples over who would get the seats of honor in the new kingdom, Jesus told them:

You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:42-45, NIV 1984)
Did you get it? "Not so with you." In other words, "think different" if you are going to be my disciples.

He also used phrases like: "You must become like little children." (Matthew 18:3) And, "The first will be last." (Matthew 20:16)

That is thinking different!

What if we applied the "think different" mindset to church and ministry?

If we think different our ministries will be more about helping people who have nothing to offer us and less about how to satisfy our own desires.

If we think different our worship assemblies will be more focused on the God who really is instead of the God we want Him to be.

If we think different our money will be spent in ways that will help get us into the community and less on how to get the community to come to us.

If we think different we do not have to have things our way all the time.

If we think different we will forget how much time and money we have contributed and that qualifies us for special recognition and special treatment.

If we think different we will not be concerned about getting the credit for a good work. We will simply find joy in doing the good work.

If we think different we will remember that a little child is our model for what it means to be in the Kingdom of God.

If we think different we will realize that giving really is better than receiving.

If we think different we will understand that forgiveness is not optional.

If we think different we remember that vengeance is Godís business not ours.

If we think different we know that pleasing God is more important than being popular, famous, or important.

If we think different we might not change the whole world, but we might change the world for one person.


© Copyright 2011 Tom Norvell. All rights reserved.