I am a supervisor at my job, so I don't have to tell you that being liked is a challenge when dealing with co-workers who want a paycheck but want to do the least amount of work possible to get it. I have learned, however, to lead with a smile. And, because we expect everyone to keep a work log to list their activities for every minute of the day, I, too, keep a work log whenever possible so my co-workers know that I don't just sit in an office chair and answer phones. I am actually working as hard as I expect them to work.
When we are short handed, I have to do my regular supervisor duties as well as cover the area of the employee that didn't show that day. When I am off work, I have to keep my phone on in case someone calls in and the manager on duty doesn't have enough coverage. Over time, all of this can become stressful and sometimes, as supervisor, I get the feeling that I have no life except my job.
I wonder if I am making a difference as a Christian.
22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
I try to follow the Golden rule at work (Matthew 7:12 All things therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them: for this is the law and the prophets). I follow the ten commandments. I do everything I do that I might be an example to my co-workers how to live, and what being a Christian really is.
There are moments that make it all worth it.
Last night, a co-worker approached me. She said, "May I speak with you?" Of course, I said, "Sure!"
She said, "I just want to apologize to you. I have been really rude to you and sometimes downright mean, and you have been nothing but nice to me. I want to let you know that I am going to try to do better. I sometimes feel overwhelmed and frustrated and I think that is why I take it out on you, but that is wrong and I want to change. Will you forgive me?"
I was taken aback. Truthfully, I was so used to being treated that way I don't even notice it anymore. I just work around it. I told her, "For someone who is that overwhelmed and frustrated, I think you do an awesome job and I look forward to seeing you grow, no apology necessary."
She said, "I just know that as a Christian, I am supposed to do that when I know I am wrong." I smiled and said, "I forgive you, now go, and keep up the great work!" She laughed.
It made me think of how often we, as humans are overwhelmed by our lives, frustrated, discontent, and any other negative description of our day to day experiences. When we get on our knees, we sometimes whine, shake our fists, and question His authority over our lives. We may even decide to stay in bed rather than go out and do what He has called us to do. Then, just like those employees who want a paycheck but don't want to do the work to get it, we wonder where our reward is.
And, yet, God reaches down and consoles us, sends us peace, let's us behold the beauty of the morning sunrise, taste the delicious meals we are provided with, and warms us with the clothes we have been given to cover our nakedness and hide our brokenness. Over time, He blesses us with healing and sustenance. How often we are ungrateful and unable to see all the ways our Father provides for us that we don't even have to ask for.
Don't you think it is time to ask God to forgive you?