In light of the recent death of S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, I’m going to take a break from my regularly scheduled husbandicizing to share some similar, but different, thoughts. I truly believe that Truett is one of the best examples of what a Godly man looks like that we’ve seen in the last 100 years. It has nothing to do with his business skills or how great his food is, but has everything to do with his priorities and his actions. He was passionate about helping others and was so giving with his time, talent, and money.
As I think about the impact he has made in my life, and in the lives of so many others, a few things come to mind that I want to share. This is by no means an exhaustive account of his legacy, it is merely a few things that struck me.
1. There are more important things in life than money
One of the best ways I saw this was the fact that Chick-fil-A continues to always be closed on Sundays. The company could make SO much more money if their doors were open, but Truett decided long ago that his workers being able to go to church and spend time with their families was more important than profit.
This is a tough concept to remember. My work is centered around making money. And my life decisions involve deciding where to spend that money. It is so easy to get caught up in placing so much importance on it. It is encouraging to see people like this and be reminded that money is not what makes life great.
2. It is better to give than to receive
Truett and Chick-fil-A have made a name for themselves by the HUGE amounts of money they give away. I’ve been a recipient of this several times. Both my wife and I (and my 2 brothers and sister in law) received a large amount of money in scholarships to be a part of the WinShape college program at Berry College. We also both received thousands of dollars in support to help fund mission trips that we participated in. And I know there are countless other ministries that have been supported by Chick-fil-A with no strings attached. They don’t give money away in hopes of getting it back with interest. They give money so they can help people, and so they can help raise the next generation of leaders.
This is so important for me to see, because I always want to GET things. I love gifts, free coupons, discounts, etc. When I consider the impact receiving those gifts has made in my life, it makes me want to do the same for others.
3. One of the greatest measures of a man’s life is the impact he has on other people
By looking through my Facebook page today, it is MIND-BLOWING to see the amount of people that Truett Cathy’s life has had an impact on. I believe THAT is what makes a man great. Without Truett’s influence, I wouldn’t have the job I do now, Julia and I wouldn’t be married, Eli wouldn’t exist, and the spiritual foundation I try to base my life on wouldn’t be nearly as solid. I have SO much to be thankful for.
I don’t want to be remembered as the guy who had the nicest looking lawn in the neighborhood, or the greatest tennis serve, or the nicest looking clothes, or who took the coolest vacations. I want to be remembered as a man who gave to others, helped people have better lives, and tried to have an influence on the next generation. One day, when I die, I want people to say that I had a huge impact on their lives…just like Truett Cathy did to me. What about you?