Mark 12:31 “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Yesterday I made a guest appearance for a sustainability podcast produced by the Young Presidents Organization. We spent most of the show talking my vlog, The John Kim Show, and how I’ve used it to gain exposure for things I’m passionate about like the environment and my faith. The hosts asked some great questions, and one of the toughest was “Why is it important for you to spread your ideas? What is the aim? Are you really selfless?” I replied that my videos do help my portfolio companies gain exposure, and that helps us drive higher returns for our VC firm Amasia. But our companies are fighting climate change, so success for them means success for others. When you align your personal goals with a higher calling, there does not need to be a distinction between what benefits self and what benefits others. In fact, when you align yourself with God’s perspective, you love others as yourself. The distinction between "self" and "other" in many ways disappears. Lord, please help me love others as I love myself more and more. We are designed to be in communion with you and with our brothers and sisters here on earth. Thank you for making that possible with the ultimate example of true love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Matthew 23:12 “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Last night one of our portfolio companies hit a big funding milestone. The CEO asked me to lead a prayer with the team to give thanks and cover the journey ahead. So I jumped onto the video conference and he opened by saying “John we just want to say thank you for being there for us. We consider you our 6th co-founder, and we would not have been able to be here today without you. We started this fundraise with a prayer and the team thought it’d be great to finish with a prayer too. Could you lead us in thanking God for all He’s done?” I replied “well I appreciate your kind words, but I’m the one who should be thanking you guys. You’re in the trenches working so hard and overcoming all the seemingly insurmountable challenges day in and day out. At best I’m a cheerleader sitting on the sidelines. But as you pointed out, of course, all glory goes to God. So yes let’s pray!” As I began to cover the team, the verse that I got for them was Matthew 23:12. In this world everyone claims credit for themselves and defers blame to others. But God’s desire for his children is to share credit with those who don’t deserve it, and to take blame even when we don’t deserve it. Humbling ourselves doesn’t mean having a lack of confidence. It means having such great confidence that we can sacrifice and love like Jesus did. For if God is for me, who can be against me? “Even as I hear you guys saying all these nice and very undeserved things about me, I just feel like God wants you to know that He’s so proud of you for creating a culture of humility and honoring others. And it’s precisely because you’ve humbled yourselves that He is exalting you. He also wants you to know that this is just the beginning. If you think this is exciting, you’d better buckle your seatbelts for what’s next.” Lord, all glory goes to you. You are our co-founder, Chairman and CEO. Thank you that I don’t need to worry about claiming credit to fight for my next promotion. Because my boss has got my back and already won the battle for me. I commit to humbling myself and honoring those around me today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Psalm 18:29 “In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall.” Pretty much every tech startup struggles in recruiting and retaining engineers. The Googles and Facebooks of the world can pay double or triple a startup salary and offer incredible perks (like free massages!) I really appreciate all the hard work that my founders do in building their R&D teams, and I’m honestly glad I don’t have to do it myself. So in that context, when God started nudging me to start building tech solutions to spread the good news, I had a bit of a Moses moment. “Me Lord? I’ve never led a tech team. I can’t speak their language. I don’t know how to hire these people. And if I could it’d cost ridiculous amounts of money.” But eventually I decided to submit and pray into what God might be doing. It began to dawn on me that He’s doing this with or without me, so I can come alongside and enjoy the ride or miss out on all the fun. As I said yesterday, I believe it’s actually inevitable that God is going to bring 1 billion new believers into the Kingdom within this generation, and He’s going to use technology to do it. So I was really excited when my friend Melvin introduced me to Clubhouse. There are clear applications in ministry, and I knew some of them I wouldn’t even be able to understand until they happened. We started holding prayer meetings and late night services for people who couldn’t come to church on Sunday. In one of these I met a guy named Jonathan who had started a “Christian Tech Startup.” I thought “hey that sounds interesting. I’m going to reach out for a chat.” On the Zoom call a couple weeks later, he explained that he had worked for tech giants, made more than enough money, and now wanted to use his engineering skills for the Kingdom. He had hired developers around the world and was operating this company on the side, building apps that he thought would be useful for believers and the churches they attended. “But I’m really looking for my first client so I can start partnering with churches on what they need. It’s not about the money at all. They could pay me like fifty bucks. Just want to work together on a product roadmap and build a network of partners.” I just laughed, looked up, and thought to myself “man, God really has a sense of humor.” When I couldn’t dream of getting an engineering team on my own, He provided a world class team basically for free. With my God, I can scale any wall. Lord, you are so good. Just when I think I can start to understand you the depths of your love, you surprise me yet again. Amazing. Help me to think bigger and come into line with your perspective today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.