Managing Principal, Lee & AssociatesCommercial Real Estate Services
1) When did you first become a Christian?
In the spring of 1985 as a sophomore at The Citadel. I was not a great example then (as if I am now!), as I didn’t take my faith as seriously as I should have. That didn’t happen until 10 years later when my oldest daughter was about to turn one year old. While flipping channels one Sunday morning I stopped to hear Charles Stanley since his message was about the role of a father—God’s representative on earth to his children. I was hooked and I watched Dr. Stanley faithfully for many years, taking notes and deepening my faith. I have a duty to introduce my family and others to Jesus, and that’s a pretty scary thought because I know my heart and its natural inclinations, and people are watching—especially my children! I’m nowhere near where I should be, but I know I’m on the right journey heading in the right direction, and I‘m thankful for it.
2) How has your faith shaped your family?
I can’t imagine living my life without Christ and the peace He gives my family and me. Life can be trying, and so many Christian values are under heavy attack in this country and around the world. The culture has a strong influence and a loud voice. Understanding God’s Word and applying it to our lives gives us a place to stand firm when the ground beneath us is eroding. Jesus is the rock on which we can build our lives and know His values never change. I have the opportunity to discuss daily events in my family’s life from a Christian worldview, and that brings immense comfort to us. The world wants to take us off the track God has planned for us, and it’s easy to lose site of His ways if we aren’t diligent.
3) What has been the biggest test of your faith?
The year 2009. I was down the entire year, getting worse as the recession grew deeper. I felt the weight of so many people counting on me—my family; my employees; my clients. And there was little I could do to make things better. I remember thinking how out of control I really was, and I didn’t like it. I now know I was relying on me, not God. Then in December it suddenly hit me—the year was almost over! I had survived it, my family had survived it; all my employees remained employed at my firm; and almost all of my clients were still around. I thanked God for getting me through the year relatively intact, and I remember thinking if God could get me through 2009, then 2010 should be a piece of cake for Him! My attitude changed because I stopped relying on my efforts and began to trust the God of the universe who brought me through the storm. I also realized I never was in control, even during the good times; I just liked those times a whole lot better and was taking the credit due God!
4) What would you say to young people starting their career? What advice would you give them about connecting their faith and their work?
Christian values are the best way to live and work, even if one is not a Christian. Who can argue against treating others as we want to be treated? Who can argue against treating all people with dignity and respect? Who wouldn’t trust someone they know is honest, has integrity, and who serves others above his/her own interests? When we practice these kinds of values, we find out what loyalty brings—lifelong relationships, both personal and professional. Don’t ever cut corners to get ahead; no one can get around the principle of reaping and sowing, which has rewarding consequences if we sow good seeds!