Are you a bottom-line thinker? In the business world, the bottom-line refers to the line (usually at the bottom of the page) on a financial statement that displays the net income or loss. Living in our fast-paced culture, the bottom-line can refer to the final analysis or projection of what something will cost. In all of our busyness, it can be difficult to ignore the temptation to skip all the “minor details” in favor of a brief summary that gives the bottom-line essentials.
Personally, I tend to want to check out ALL of my options before making any decision. When that is not an option, I tend to look for the bottom-line of what I can see before making a final choice. There is nothing wrong with being a bottom-line thinker, but if we end up cheating ourselves in going only by the bare bones essentials of the bottom-line, the cost can be great. For example, I tend to look for the bottom-line in processing Scripture. Having focused on Ecclesiastes for the past six weeks in my Journey Notes I have learned a lot about living on this earth:
- There is nothing new under the sun (1:10)
- The dangers of following your heart are very real (2:10-11)
- Relationships are important and why we need to rely on God to strengthen them (4:9-12)
- The importance of guarding our tongue (5:2)
- The effect of wisdom on the countenance of a man (8:1)
- The blessing of “quiet words” (9:17-18)
There is much more to think about, a lot of it quite depressing. My point in writing all of this is to confess that yesterday, when I finally got the the end of chapter 12 I was quite happy to FINALLY get to the bottom-line summary of Ecclesiastes:Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Verse 13)
It is a powerful conclusion and an important reminder to keep a proper perspective on Who God Is as we remember that We Will Be Held Accountable To Him. However, too much is lost to only focus on the bottom-line conclusion of Ecclesiastes or any other book of the Bible. That is why I encourage each of my clients and all of you to dig into reading the Scriptures for yourselves, trusting Him to help us see beyond the bottom-line to His Glory! Ka-Pow!