‘We must combine the toughness of the serpent and the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.’- Martin Luther King ‘Strength to Love’
Has anybody noticed that it’s a jungle out there? Dog eat dog, every man for himself, he who dares wins- the heat is on and the competition is fierce. But do we ever stop to think for a moment, what am I competing for? Whose bar am I trying to reach? When did I get entered into the rat race?
This is ever prevalent in the workplace, as I’ve experienced acutely these past few weeks. I have felt the force of opposition to the way I live out my life. A provoking, cajoling and subtle coercion to go ‘head to head’ with another, to ‘fight’ to be seen and heard, to be validated by the ‘right people’.
This went against the grain of all I strive to embrace, against the grain of my belief system, against Jesus and all He is seeking to do in my life. My heart was resisting but my flesh was weak.
I have had to cling to the armour God has supplied; tightening the belt of truth and reminding myself day in and day out that God is my sun and my shield, my glory and the lifter of my head. He is my light and my salvation so whom should I fear?
Escaping the temptation to war against flesh and blood; against those acting out in their brokenness. Understanding that the war is not with them, but with powers of darkness that take advantage of broken vessels.
We need to grasp that we have been sent as sheep amongst wolves in the workplace. It is not going to be an easy ride.
How are we then to respond…? With indignation? Frustration? Anger? Sadness? Withdrawal? Fear?
We are not pushovers, doormats or wallflowers. We have a duty to stand strong and fight the good fight. To be an example of beauty, meekness and strength. We do this by being as wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove.
‘I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.’- Matthew 10 v 16
We need not fear being walked over; we can roll out the red carpet of our lives in vulnerability before others.
We need not fear a ‘slap’ on one cheek; it is possible to triumphantly turn the other. Because His perfect love casts out all fear, and nothing can separate us from His love- even (especially) in the workplace.
Wisdom, a soft heart and an almighty God are an unstoppable trio. A force to be felt and reckoned with. As believers our job specifications will always consist of gentleness, humility, wisdom, discernment and love. These are essential requirements for any workplace witness, it’s non-negotiable.
Let’s opt out of the competition, quit the rat race and offer drink and respite to those trapped within it. By wisdom and the heart of God we can signpost the way out.
Are you fighting against flesh and blood?