“Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ.” Colossians 3:18
My company recently embarked on a “Big Rocks” campaign: four major things to focus on and improve. One of the these is customer service. Consequently, a grinning picture of our CEO with the caption, “Tell us how we’re doing.” is on prominent display through out our building. Customers who wish to chime in can call, email, or connect with the big boss via a QR code.
The invitation for public input straight to the top makes many of my co-workers and me nervous. What if a customer just has a “beef” with one of our departments and wants to cause trouble? Perhaps we’ve bent over backwards to satisfy but to no avail. Does the CEO even know this?
It’s like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: some think our porridge (customer service) is too hands on (hot) and some think it’s too impersonable (cold). Furthermore, the few who feel it’s “just right” may camp out at our building (sleep in our beds) putting upper management on speed dial.
What’s a dutiful employee to do?
One answer, as the scripture above suggests, is to look beyond the big rocks to someone even bigger–God Himself. Though I honor and obey all my bosses–right up to the top– my REAL boss is God. And He’s certain to outlast any corporate improvement program.
Massive boulders just aren’t big enough.
This post shall now be concluded by the poet Robert Frost:
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.
“For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” 1 Cor. 16:9″
The apostle Paul penned these words to his friends in the ancient city of Corinth. He had been spreading the Christian message in another city, Ephesus, and was trying to decide whether to stay put or move on.
There had been many opportunities for Paul in Ephesus, but also much opposition. His preaching had been met with riotous mobs and death threats. Most people would take this as a sign to get out of town, but not Paul! He decided to base his decisions on God’s activity rather than what his enemies were doing and stayed in Ephesus for another year. Many more converts were added to the church during this time.
One can only assume, but I bet Paul’s life felt something like a chess match. Over and over, his opponents backed him into a corner–putting him in check. But God always provided a way out and kept Paul out of checkmate.
This has recently become real to me. In fact, I started this blog because I was placed in “check.”
For several months, I sent a dozen or so Christian colleagues at my company a Bible verse with an encouraging thought every morning. These are friends who attend a weekly employee prayer group or asked specifically to be included in the email. Nevertheless, someone in our company complained to HR, telling them I was sending “scriptures” through company email. The next thing I know, my boss gets a visit from corporate.
No, I wasn’t told to cease and desist. But the reality that someone took offense at my attempt to encourage a few Christian friends was deflating. I was really down for about 24 hours, but then recalled the words of a dear friend, “There are always options: good ones and bad ones.”
I chose the best option I could and avoided checkmate. When the time comes, I hope you will too.
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” He (Jesus) said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Mark 14:34
About twenty years ago, WWJD? was a popular acronym: What Would Jesus Do?
It’s a great thought, but is this completely discernible in the 21st century? I’m fairly sure the Son of God wouldn’t tweet about what He had for breakfast, but how can one be certain?
Perhaps a better question is, What DID Jesus Do? Now, this is discoverable! The scripture above, for instance, records the actual behavior of Jesus in full-blown crisis mode.
In Mark 14:32-42, we find Him in the garden with a few close friends, emotionally and physically drained by the knowledge of his impending death. The Amplified Bible says he was, “deeply distressed and extremely anguished,” and he, “fell to the ground and prayed.”
So, here are two things Jesus did during the biggest crisis of His earthly life:
He sought comfort and guidance from God.
He asked a few close friends to come near–both physically and in prayer.