One of the first acronym’s you learn in sales is, W.I.I.F.M., “what’s in it for me?” The theory is that you need to make sure the customer knows what the benefit is for THEM by purchasing your product. You spend time asking questions to uncover their needs, time creating solutions to their problems, time explaining how the features & benefits of your product will help them. The ENTIRE sales presentation ultimately comes down to how well you can provide the W.I.I.F.M. to the customer.
Apparently, I didn’t leave the principle of W.I.I.F.M. behind when I left the sales world 18 months ago.
Over the past month, I’ve been struggling with feeling that God has lead me on the journey to launch Rooted Leaders and has been largely silent, leaving me to wonder alone in the wilderness. I’ve fasted; prayed; read the Bible and dozens of books; I’ve listened to podcasts and dozens of sermons; journaled and taken notes; studied Biblical and leadership topics; taken classes; and planted myself in my local church. In short, I have done EVERYTHING I’ve ever heard or know to do in the hopes of SOMETHING changing. Daily looking for some movement from God to lead me out of my desert and into the land of milk & honey.
One of the books I’m currently reading is Louie Giglio’s book, Goliath Must Fall. The premise of the book is that one- we are not David in the famous David & Goliath story, Jesus is; and two-our giant, whatever it may be for us specifically, is already dead. In chapter 9 Louie writes,
“As we close this book, we want to look at one final twist, and we’ve touched upon it in several places already. It’s that David’s motivation in this whole thing was the fame of God. David was motivated by God’s honor and glory.”
David’s W.I.I.F.M. was the fame of God. That was it. As soon as I read that sentence, it immediately struck me that THAT is the difference. That deep down, if I’m 100% honest with myself and not saying what I know I SHOULD say, I’m motivated by my glory, by my fame. It’s not that I don’t want to lead others to Christ. It’s not that I don’t want to make a difference in the lives of other women. It’s not that I don’t want to impact the world as other women identify and live out the life God has called them to. It’s that I want to do it so that others will see and value and appreciate and honor me (in addition to God).
It’s my underlying W.I.I.F.M. belief that has me thinking when I help someone, how I might potentially leverage this to build my business; not how I can point them to God. It’s the W.I.I.F.M. in my heart that has my motivation to be ultimately a selfish one, not a humble or righteous one.
It’s the realization that my quiet times, my studying, my planting, my actions all come back so that I can impress God or impress others or that my knowledge will grow so that I can use it to help advance myself. It has not once been, so I can know and have a deeper understanding of who God is, His love, or His grace.
There is such a vast difference between studying the word for knowledge sake and studying the word so that I can better understand how to serve, love, appreciate and value God. This God that sent His son to pay for my sin, my selfish W.I.I.F.M. heart.
I began to question if I never knowingly helped anyone, never received any accolades, if my business never became anything more than what it is today, but my love, respect, honor and service to God grew; would that be enough? Could I be truly happy and content if all I did the rest of my life was study and learn about God and do my best to seek His face and His honor? The idea of studying the Bible to grow in my love of God and to grow in my knowledge and wisdom of who He is and how He works is vastly different to studying the Bible so that I grow in my factual knowledge. Simply writing this gives me a notable heart change.
I’m writing about my struggle with my W.I.I.F.M. for 2 reasons. One, I don’t want to ever forget. I don’t want to go back to being focused on me and not on the God who saved me. Two, I share my struggle in the hopes that if you too are wondering in your own wilderness and not seeing your promised land, to encourage you to take an honest look at your W.I.I.F.M. Are you focused on how the object of your wait will increase your glory and fame or God’s?
If I continue to allow myself to struggle in the wilderness wondering where God is while I’m focused on how the wilderness effects, ME, then I’m missing the entire point of the journey. Others are witnessing my wilderness struggle. When I take my eyes off ME and MY desires and instead focus on God, I realize that this is a great opportunity to witness to others about the nature and power of God. It becomes my opportunity to say, ‘My God is BIGGER than this and HE IS leading me out.’ By changing my perspective from W.I.I.F.M. to how can God get the glory He deserves, everything around me changes. My confidence, my peace, my determination, my resolve that this WILL end, and it will end NOW grows. Why? Because the longer I stay stuck here, the longer I’m allowing my giant to think he is bigger than my God. But by shifting my focus to God, I become determined that I won’t passively sit by another minute and allow my actions (or inactions) to diminish God’s authority in any way. I feel propelled to do my part and FIGHT for God’s glory-not mine.
I want to leave you with one final passage from Louie Giglio’s book,
“Jesus wants to take down our giants so that we can walk free and have the life he wants us to live. And he wants to do that so HIS name can be exalted above every other name in our world…It’s so people around us look at our lives and say, ’Your God is truly God.’ Our freedom and God’s glory are inextricably woven together…In so doing, our motivation isn’t all about self-improvement; that’s just the benefit. Our motivation comes in realizing that EVERY giant that defeats us deflates our ability to make much of Jesus to the world. There’s an extra motivation in our hearts when we say, ‘this Goliath, it must go down, God, because YOU must be lifted high!”