Enduring Grace @ Work – Part II
Week of July 14, 2013
"'For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'" -Jeremiah 29:11
(This devotional is a continuation of last week’s and is a result of a conversation with a couple of friends regarding their workplace difficulties.)
Let Go of False Responsibility – Matthew 11:30 tells us God’s “burden is light.” You are not a pack mule! Your responsibility is not to fix your boss. Pray, yes; fix, no. If you have tried to fix your boss, repent of self-righteousness and self-idolatry. Stay out of God’s way, and let the Holy Spirit do His job. You’re not God. Only God sees the whole heart of your boss and knows just what she/he needs. You don’t. Even prophets only see in part. If you will release your difficult boss to God—fully letting her/him go—God will pick up the task, and you will soon see a tangible shift of some type: Either God will change the boss, change you, relocate her/him or relocate you.
Guard against the temptation of gossip. It’s better to ask someone you can trust to pray for you than to uncover others’ sins at work. Often—but not always—your best prayer partner is someone outside of your workplace. Consult God on this.
Also, be careful to not project your own wounds, fears, pains and inadequacies onto your boss or others. Your perspective is a filter that is based on your beliefs, experiences, etc. Only God sees and knows the ultimate, whole, unfiltered truth. So choose to sync up your vision with His. Tell Him you want to see as He sees, love as He loves and do as He does. Ask God to help you love your boss and difficult co-workers as He does. God’s love is far greater than their issues. Asking for God’s help honors Him and humbles us. And He will be faithful to answer your prayers.
When your boss (or anyone else) offends you, discipline yourself to process through the offense and hurt QUICKLY so bitterness doesn’t take root. Choose to not be controlled by emotional or spiritual immaturity, but by the Holy Spirit, who desires to mature you. Remember, you are a work in progress, and God loves you too much to leave you where you are:
- Confess the offense as though you committed it (because Romans 2:1 affirms you did). This biblical principle is very humbling, and it gives the Holy Spirit an opportunity to convict you about a sin that has blinded you in your past. It also positions you to extend compassion and grace to your boss. In this way, God may actually use your boss as a catalyst—or a mirror—to do a work in you, freeing you and causing you to come up to higher holiness. Be careful to not get stuck in pride by not confessing someone else’s sin as your own. Asking the Holy Spirit to reveal your secret (unknown to you) sins for the purpose of confession and repentance, is always wise and can be done privately on a daily basis. The Holy Spirit is your helper and will show you things you may not see otherwise. It’s better to be confessed privately than to be revealed publicly.
- Choose to forgive your boss and yourself (no matter what). Forgiveness does not condone a sin; it simply hands over the issue and person to God, entrusting Him to handle it for you. After all, the battle is the Lord’s, and He can do vengeance better than you or anyone else (1 Samuel 17:47)! Unless God instructs you otherwise, it does not mean that you are to go to your boss and tell her/him that you forgive her/him. Doing so can come off as arrogant, and you will risk offending your boss, which is not a wise move. Simply pray it through privately with the Lord.
- Be healed! Ask God to bind every wound and heal every injury in your heart and mind. Speak a command to both to be made whole and renewed in the name of Jesus.
- Ask God to convict your boss and to get your boss where He wants her/him to be. Speak a blessing over your boss (Matthew 5:44).
- Release your boss to God. In your heart, lay your boss and the offense at the foot of the cross, affirming that you choose to trust Jesus to take care of the situation better than you. Commit to not picking it back up by thinking about it, talking about it or reacting to it.
- Thank God for His victory, mercy and grace, for loving you so much that you can trust Him to move on your behalf! And thank God that whatever the enemy meant for bad, God will use for your good and the good of others to build His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Thank God that you are washed clean by the blood of the Lamb and that, because of this blood covenant, Father God sees your sins no more!
- Reset your focus on God by finding a quiet, alone place and praising God sacrificially until your emotions feel better (which won’t take long) and your joy (your strength) is restored. King David did this several times a day! Where else would a king (or queen) go?
Wield Your Spiritual Power Tool: Sacrificial Praise – Sacrificial praise is a discipline of praising God when you don’t feel like it. God already knows you don’t feel like it, so when you do it, it greatly honors Him. Sacrificial praise is the power tool that can help you break free from the pit and refocus your soul and spirit on God’s awesome love and beauty. Sacrificial praise is also a serious power tool in the enemy’s face. Staying “down” in a pit of despair, self-pity and worry does not honor God. Remaining in a “pit” experience is actually an ungodly form of control—even idolatry—that overburdens us, adversely affects others and causes us to walk in disobedience and limit God’s intervention on our behalf. You can intentionally discipline yourself to sacrificially praise God until it becomes second nature. You will be amazed at its effects! Not only will you feel better, it will greatly move God’s heart on your behalf!
Finish Well! – The climate in which you depart your last job assignment will determine how you enter your next job assignment. If you left your last job in conflict, that unresolved conflict will await you, just behind the door of your next new job. Why? Because strife is at the root of disorder. And because God desires to give you another opportunity to resolve the unrest. Strife will continue to follow you until you process through it to completion God’s way. God loves you too much to let you remain immature and underdeveloped. He is for you, and He has a plan to prosper you, to grow you. He desires for you to “get it” once and for all time.
Get Help – If you are so emotionally and/or physically exhausted or distressed that you cannot perform excellently at work, you may need a respite or professional help or both. You may want to investigate various leave options available to you through your human resources department. Seek God to lead you in choosing healthcare professionals and/or counselors to help you get restored to wholeness, if necessary.
Deuteronomy 30:19 instructs us to choose life, not death; blessings, not curses. Everything we do and not do is a seed sown that will produce a harvest. It’s important that we survey ourselves and intentionally decide where we want to be spiritually, which master we will serve. I pray that your choices lead you to receive God’s best at work and beyond every day for all eternity (Joshua 24:15).
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