Steve Jobs, the Man and His Thoughts on Life

by on January 26th, 2011
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Until his death on October 5, 2011, not much was known about the personal life of Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs. However, the newly released authorized biography, “Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson,” pulls aside the cloak of secrecy he cloistered himself behind. But before his death, Jobs had given some indications of what made him tick.

Jobs’ commencement address to the graduating class of Stanford University on June 12, 2005 delved into specifics about his biological mother, and how he was chosen by his adoptive parents, Clara and Paul Jobs. The revealing speech also shed light on the principles that shaped Jobs philosophy of life.

Jobs spoke to the Stanford graduates about the connectivity of life events that he referred to as ‘connecting the dots.’ Jobs pointed out that even though his ‘connecting the dots’ philosophy is flawed, in that it is understood only in retrospect, humankind has a need to trust in something.

For Jobs that ‘need to trust something’ hole was filled when he traveled to the subcontinent country of India during his early twenty-something years. But, Isaacson writes in Jobs’ autobiography that near the end of his life Jobs had opened the door to the possibility that maybe God did really exist. If, Jobs ‘connect the dots’ philosophy was correct, had everything in his life led him to the point of considering the reality of God?

Jobs also acknowledged a well-publicized loss in his life during his Stanford commencement address. Jobs talked to the graduates about being fired from Apple Computers; the company he and friend, Steve Wozniak created, that was further expanded on in the Jobs authorized biography by Isaacson.

In reflection, Job knew he loved the computer technology he had help create, and he stayed with his love, but in a different venue; NeXT, and Pixar. Jobs advice to the graduates, do what you love, and don’t compromise.

Jobs nugget of wisdom on compromise unwittingly could also have a biblical basis. Jesus in Revelation 3: 15, 16, graphically demonstrates His disfavor with compromise; the state of being neither hot nor cold. Jesus said, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”

The final link in Job’s philosophical chain overshadowed everything else he had said during his address.

In 2003, a cancerous tumor was found in Job’s pancreas bringing him face to face with the reality of death. Suddenly, emotions like pride, and shame weren’t even visible in the rear view mirror. Jobs spoke of death as being like a cosmic broom, sweeping out the old, making way for the new.

There at Stanford University, Jobs stood before an ocean of faces full of nervous excitement about their futures, and he brings up the subject of death. Talk about having a glass of cold water thrown in the face, this was a subject that yelled “attention” to everyone present.

Having stuck his foot in a half-opened door, Jobs pushed it wide open, and said, “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there.”

But here, Jobs was wrong. For the Apostle Paul in writing to the Philippians said, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” And Paul continued, “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to be with Christ; which is far better.” (Philippians 1: 21, 23.)

Then, when he was about to executed, Paul showed he had no reservations about death being the path to heaven as he wrote, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4: 6, 7, 8.)

Jobs adds in one of his final interviews with Isaacson, “You’re born alone, you’re gonna die alone.” This, however, is not true for the believing Christian, because Jesus said, “…and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28: 20.)

Steve Jobs was a man who changed the world through his inventions, but he also was a man who thought that life was like an on/off switch. Jobs, had in the end left the most important discovery for the closing days of his life; to know Jesus as his personal Savior.


Holy Bible, Authorized King James Version, Zondervan Publishing House

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