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Corporate Forgiveness

Corporate Forgiveness

Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet they shall be white as wool... Isaiah 1:18a

A newly named executive director of a manufacturing corporation in Ontario was responsible for 486 employees. He met with all his managers to announce that suggestion boxes would be placed in various locations throughout the manufacturing plant and office area to seek input from employees.

Day after day, he eagerly checked each suggestion box, but no suggestions were submitted. The first suggestion, a typed note without signature, arrived three weeks later. It had an interesting suggestion, but was certainly not what he had anticipated. It read:

Everyone is afraid to make suggestions, but if you really do have good intentions, then consider the following suggestion:
Please empty all the employees' files of all of the negative notes written by supervisors and let us start over, because many of us have now matured a little. If you do, I know that I will be a better employee, and I think that some of the other people will too.


The executive director read this note so often that evening that he had it memorized long before bedtime. His wife suggested that the employees could have their personal files emptied of all negative notes, provided that they made an appointment with him to request it. It was simple and direct. No one would have to beg. All they would have to do was ask.

The very next day, his secretary prepared a memo on official company letterhead, and he hand delivered it to all 486 employees. The memo read:

A suggestion has been submitted in one of the suggestion boxes. It was approved without hesitation. The suggestion is that all employees' personal performance files be purged of all negative comments, events and issues - no questions asked.

Please call my secretary and make an appointment to see me. You and I will remove all items that are negative from your file, leaving you with a "clean slate". I can assure you that there is no hidden agenda. Just come and talk with me. I look forward to meeting with you, and together we will remove all unwanted notes and comments.
By the way, "thank you" for this interesting suggestion.

John R.J.Emerson,
Executive Director


Four weeks passed before the first appointment was made. An employee in her 22nd year was the first to request an appointment. Within ten minutes, her personal file was emptied of all unwanted comments, and she walked out of the office a "renewed employee." She quickly passed the word to other employees, and soon others cautiously approached John's office. All who made appointments to speak with him, walked out of the office knowing that their personal file was free of past history of negative actions or poor performances.

To Mr. Emerson's amazement and disappointment, 57.17% of the employees (273 people) have never made an appointment to see him in the two years that this program has been available. He commented, "Perhaps employees are too proud, too intimidated, or just do not believe that all they have to do is come and talk to me. I am disappointed to think that some of these valuable employees may actually not really care."

Somewhat similar is many people's response to God. Some may never have heard that there is forgiveness available through Jesus Christ. Others may be too proud or intimidated to approach God. And sadly, many just do not care. Nevertheless, God's promise through Jesus Christ remains: "if we confess our sins to God, He can always be trusted to forgive us and to take our sins away." (1 John 1:9)

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