1. Reflect on What Your Kids Will Say. Bertie has been running WastePlan, a waste management company in South Africa, since 2004. For years, he’d been a driven & aggressive salesman, building and pouring himself into his businesses. Then, in 2013, his doctor told him that he had cancer.
Bertie explains, “When I left the doctor's room, and I walked back to my car, I saw my kid’s little faces. And I thought, What are these kids going to say? Are they going to tell the world how much money their dad made? Are they going to tell the world how big a business he built? No. What they're going to say is how busy Dad was, how much time he spent at the office and on his phone. I was doing business at their expense. And I asked myself: If I had a few months left to live, what would I change?”
Bertie points to Jesus’s reminder not to store up treasure on earth. “What do treasures on earth give us? What does a fancy car give us? Only recognition, right? What does a fancy house in a golf estate give us? Only recognition.”
Bertie resolved then to live a life that gives God glory and to lead his family well. To be a husband and a Dad whose life points back to the Father.
2. There Is a King. God miraculously removed the physical cancer, and along the way, God also started to heal the deeper “cancer” of control.
At a JOG soon after, Bertie said, “I started realizing there's a King. And his name is Jesus and He wants us to build His Kingdom on earth with Him while we are here. That is why we are here. The enemy wants us to build our own kingdom on earth and then he uses fear, the fear of losing the stuff we accumulated, to keep us obsessed with our kingdoms. That’s what I did, and I used Jesus as my marketing campaign.”
Bertie has joined a few more JOGs over the years. “At every JOG there's another layer of control, influence and power that God peels off my heart. And I had no idea that there's so much of that in my heart - I want to control, I want to be powerful, I want to be influential and I want to be recognized.”
3. When God Asks for Control, Give it to Him. The journey hasn’t just been spiritual—God has made Bertie’s journey practical in all areas, including financially. “The journey of control is very difficult” Bertie says. “God asked me to give Him 51 percent of the business. It took me a whole year to do it.“
Bertie recalled it was during that year that a good friend looked him in the eyes and said, ‘Bertie, do you want to obey God or not?’ “I said, ‘Yes, I want to obey Him.’ “My friend said, ‘So give Him control. Don't hold onto it. Don’t hesitate, just obey.’
“So, I transferred the shares and gave God 51 percent shareholding in our company. We achieved this by forming a non-profit company that exists for the Kingdom of Jesus. This NPC is called Nika Capital. I don't have control anymore. There are four or five friends that sit on the Nika board, and they decide whether I have a job or not. If I turn away from God, they can fire me from this company and then I won't have a job. Do you know how vulnerable that makes me feel? But when God said control, that's what He wanted.”