At the risk of raising some criticism, I’m re-posting this thought with a few edits. I’m just stuck here. This thought of doing everything for Christ, taking myself out of the equation, has really impacted my decisions lately. So, if you don’t mind maybe we’ll camp out here another week.
You think Presidential campaign politics are shocking? That’s nothing compared to office politics. How do courageous leaders rise above the noise of the fray, stay clear of landmines, and gain ground despite the games? It is possible to move ahead without getting sucked down the drain of back-stabbing and gossip.
The trick is in doing everything for the glory of God. (I. Cor. 10:31) Kinda hard to glorify God in politics and gossip — nope, can’t be done. In Matthew Jesus told us to do everything as though we were doing it for him, or “unto me”. In Colossians 3:17 the Apostle Paul directs us, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”(NASB) The Message interprets this instruction like this, “Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” So thinking in terms of how we do our jobs everyday, I just can’t understand how it is possible we could allow ourselves to get sucked into the swirl of office politics and do it as though we are going it to Jesus.
As I think about this instruction living out my Christian walk, I have to think about how it applies to not only how I behave with my family at home, by also my work and career. When I’m facilitating a difficult discussion, leading a meeting, or when a co-worker is trying to suck me into the quagmire of office politics. As surprising as it is, unproductive politics and back-stabbing happens at the executive level, too. I am convinced that it is at this level where it is most critical that we choose to model courageous leadership by honoring the teaching of Christ; because folks are watching how we roll. The result of our choice should be that we deliver as though we’re doing it for Him. Stay focused on Him, and His purpose. Intentionally.
The perfect model for this is found in Nehemiah, as recorded in the book of the same name in the Bible. He was a righteous man, a business administrator, gifted in strategic planning. He was surrounded by the politics at work, faced barriers put up by folks who didn’t want his project to succeed, and burdened with unproductive gossip. What did he do? History tells us that he stayed the course. He continued steadfastly in the purpose God had for him. The result was that the junk, the politics, the gossip – it all self-distructed. The chaos and swirl? It imploded. He, on the other hand, was amazingly successful and the results he delivered exceeded everyone’s expectations.
So, when I find myself getting sucked into the junk of work, I remind myself to choose the Nehemiah model, and to continue on as though Christ will be completing my performance review. I imagine Jesus saying to me, “Beth, look at me. This is for me, not them. Focus on me. Do this for me!” So far I’ve experienced a fabulous peace, and the ability to focus on the important stuff, despite any chatter going on around me.
I’d love to learn your thoughts, so weigh in. When things get difficult do you remind yourself that it’s not all about you, and focus on God?