Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Six Sigma...Sorta

Eph 4:16-19 (NIV) From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

In the manufacturing world there is a point-of-focus tool used for efficiency and organization known as Six Sigma or commonly referred to as “6S.” These alliterative “best practice” categories (with slight variations from company to company) are listed as: Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, Safety, and Sustain. This is simply an easy way to remind people on how to order their work-life environs.

In the last few weeks I’ve been exposed to a couple of Bros who have had that same simplistic sensible yet spiritual sigma sound in their exegesis (see Jesus.exe).

My new friend Ty preached a sermon on the passage above. In it he spoke of our need to renew our minds so we could present our bodies (Romans 12:1-2). He talked about meditating on God’s word to allow the life therein to crowd out the crap (my word - not his) that has taken up residence. There is deliverance there. When we submit to the will of the Spirit, “works” can become a place of life-giving experiences born out of His grace and our Faith.

He spoke of the illegitimate ways we obtain Security, Significance, and Satisfaction. Those three “S’s” are found in the sensitivity of the Spirit yet we search for it in the scents of the flesh. Sensuality is never satisfied because it is driven by that flesh and its 5 senses. This is why the renewed mind is so vital. It understands that whole “Love is a verb” principle and willingly presents the vessel to be conformed into the Potters image.

Additionally, my buddy Paul was studying the parable of the Sower. As he digested this passage, he began to sense and see some savory spiritual Sigma morsels himself.

Matthew 13: 1Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge. 2He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3"Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.


5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times."

My bro Paul noted the “birds of the air” coming to steal or snatch the seed sown is shown to be Satan. The rocky ground that doesn’t seem to support the seed sown because it is shallow he says is “Self.” And finally, the thorns that strangle the seed sown because of the cares of this world and pursuit of riches is this world’s “System.”


I can certainly see that this seed-sowing story says more than what we see on the surface. Jesus himself had to sit the disciples down and show them the truth of what He said. Seeds are sown daily. Good seed and bad. We can let the bad wither and die while becoming fertile soil for the good, or vice verse.

Our enemy prowls seeking to steal, kill and destroy; our selfish pride and lust of our own fleshly desires won't sustain the life of Christ in us; and our pursuit of happiness in any source but our Savior will choke out the destiny He has set in our sights. If we could apply the simplicity of secular Six Sigma to our spiritual sojourn then something savory and succulent might manifest in our journey.

Sort - put things in their proper perspective seeing with His eyes.
Straighten - as my friend Byron says, "make the first thing the first thing." Give stuff and Him their proper priority.
Shine - Let your light shine as a reflection of His.
Standardize - remember the fundamentals and your first love - Jesus. He is our standard by which we live, and our standard bearer and banner of victory.
Safety - When feeling vulnerable or weak, run to Him. Dwell in the secret place of the Most High beneath the shadow of the Almighty.
Sustain - He is the Bread of Life - our sustenance.

In Him we find we are secure, significant, and truly satisfied like no other. Through Him we have the power to resist satan, self, and senseless systems. So sing songs of deliverance, and celebrate being salt and seasoning in your surroundings. Sow, say, and share the salve of serindipitous service to others. See the glorious appearing of the Son in their lives. Savour the sound of sons and daughters sprouting as shoots of Saints, or as sand on the shore of His chrystal sea of love. Say, that sounds like the roar of rushing waters. Slurp.

The Revelation 19:6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) 9 Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God."

1 comment:

Josh W. said...

I work for a company with a CEO that talks about some of that "self-talk" stuff. Basically being positive, being around positive people, saying positive things, and doing positive things. Anyway, its really funny how probably 98% of it is Bibical principles.

BTW, yall are up at Crossroads, along with the Garrett's?

-Josh W.