I like working alone and working with people, but it is not always easy working with others. You have to experience a lot when working or collaborating with others. I have learned in all my years of working that sometimes there are a lot of miscommunication, egos, pride, selfishness, control issues, backstabbing, intimidation, stress, etc. to contend with. I can go on and on but then it would turn into complaining.
Yesterday, I attended several meetings at work back to back (by the way I hate meetings most of the time). In one meeting, I observed, listened and for the umpteenth time I could sense tension, ego and pride in the air. I admit a little of this came from me also. I sat listening and then was invited to speak up about a concern I had. As one of the meeting attendees addressed the concern, I listened and then responded to what sounded like me and my staff’s work being demeaned again. You might ask, “Well was it constructive criticism?” In this case it wasn’t constructive. I have dealt with people’s arrogance, pride and control issues on my job for some time now and because of this I am sometimes in defense mode. As I responded, I felt a little nervous voicing my concern. After all, I’m not very confrontational. However, I became offended, grew defensive and could feel my voice rise an octave. Yet God intervened. As the person kept talking and I became more offended, God shushed me. A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11 NIV)
In my head, I was thinking a lot of thoughts. I wanted to shout aloud, “My staff have degrees too and are qualified to do the work; trust us. We double check our work. We work very hard; we are passionate about what we do. We have been here longer than you. Why can’t you see that we are here to help you? Why are you making me feel inferior? Why are you lying? Why do I have to sit in these repetitive meetings? We are getting nowhere.” Instead of verbally releasing these thoughts, God helped me to shut up my thoughts and keep my mouth closed.
God reminded me that He was my defender and that He will defend me. He reminded me that I am above and not beneath, the head and not the tail. He reminded me that I am not inferior and I should not also make others feel inferior. He also let me know that I was being proud even in my thoughts. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12 NIV)
So, I shut up and I listened because I knew I would be acting proudly by boasting and taking offense to what the other person was saying and maybe didn’t mean it to the full extent. I sat there thinking that I don’t have to throw up my resume` or accolades like they do. By the Holy Spirit helping me to take those thoughts captive and make it obedient to Christ and by Christ revealing to me that I was treading proud grounds, I let go trying to defend myself. How would it look if I, a Christian, acted in a proud, offensive and defensive manner?
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (James 4:6 NIV)
Thank You for Your mercy and Your gently rebukes. Thank You for reminding me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am above and not beneath, the head and not the tail. Thank You for also being my defender and having great thoughts towards me. Help me to remember this when someone offends or hurts me. Help me to not be easily offended but to walk in love and maintain patience with others and in every situation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to be quiet! Stop trying to defend yourself and let God come to your defense. Clothe yourself in humility and don’t be easily offended. Don’t easily offend others also. Walk in love because love conquers all.
Read a related EmpowerMoment: Lord, Help Me Watch My Mouth
Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program. She help assists Chicago public high school students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college. She, like many of her students, is the first of her family to graduate from college. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English-Professional & Technical Writing. God, the Creator and Great Father, has also created her to be a compassionate person and encourager and so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better thru her support, actions and writing. Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.