Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 97; 147:12-20, 1 Samuel 20:24-42, Acts 13:1-12, Mark 2:23-3:6
Has anyone ever done you the favor of not giving you a promotion?
Our culture teaches us to want that next step on the ladder, the better title, the bigger income. We throw around “motivational” phrases like “if you’re not moving forward you’re moving backward.” If we are content with our current position and don’t seek advancement, we’re often perceived as unmotivated, despite being strong performers. Contrary to the constant message to move up, forward, and beyond, we need to differentiate between where we belong and where we’re pressured to go. If we rely on others to do that, we may be letting them set us up for failure.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with pursuing new opportunities, but let’s understand why we seek them. What makes us good (and happy) at our job is not always what makes us a good candidate for the next level. Not every top salesperson makes a competent director. Not every skilled physician should be chief of staff. Not every great chef has the business savvy to run a restaurant. Fortunately, we need many more people to provide services and manufacture goods than we do managers and CEOs. Whatever your job is, doing it well to support yourself, your family, and your community is as successful as it gets.
King Saul was furious with his son Jonathan for siding with David – whom Saul saw as a rival – and effectively forfeiting his opportunity to succeed his father as king. Both Jonathan and Saul knew David would be far better for the nation of Israel than either of them, but only Jonathan did not fear someone else’s success created his failure. For years all of Israel suffered, and ultimately Jonathan died, for Saul’s lack of perspective.
If someone tells you to know your place, it’s demeaning. When you determine where your place is, and claim it in service to the Lord, it empowers you to meet God’s calling in your life. To Christ, the person who harvests the crops is equal to the person who owns the farm. Why betray that love by thinking less of ourselves?
Comfort: Success is found where you are, regardless of where you are going.
Challenge: Every morning for a week, write down what you can do to be successful that day. At the end of the day, review your list.
Prayer: You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.. (Psalm 16:2)
Discussion: Have you ever found yourself in a job where you were over your head?
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