“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10
When it comes to work, I am naturally detail-oriented, I like to stay on task until I finish what I’ve started, and I like to begin projects far enough in advance so that I never miss a deadline. Sometimes, I get so focus driven on the job before me that I become oblivious to everything and everyone around me. Just yesterday, for example, my manager came to my desk to ask me if I was coming to our monthly Team Meeting which had already begun. Oops!
For those of you like me, I think you will agree that our greatest frustration comes from constant interruptions. One meeting after another. Clients dropping by without an appointment. An urgent email needing a more detailed response than usual. A talkative co-worker wanting to tell you all about her weekend. You get the point.
But while such dedication to one’s work may be applauded by some, could it be that as Christians we are actually missing the mark? Don’t get me wrong; we are to strive for excellence in all we do as employees so that God may be glorified. But in God’s eyes, these are not interruptions. These are people! And God regards them as a priority. In contrast, our paperwork has no eternal value.
I was initially ashamed when God first revealed this truth to me. This revelation propelled me to change. If someone came to my desk, I immediately stopped what I was working on and gave that person my full, undivided attention. After asking their question or sharing what they needed, they quickly moved on. They actually never took as much time as I had originally thought.
Furthermore, I learned these weren’t only people; these were also God-given opportunities for ministry. Unless you are willing to invest your time in others, you don’t really earn the right to speak into their lives. By taking the time to listen and being genuinely interested in what they have to say, they will know without a doubt that you really care.
And why not go out of your way to be pro-active? Don’t wait for them to come to you with their weekend stories. Make time in your day to ask them about their weekend. Write an encouraging note and leave it on their keyboard. Let them know how they inspire or encourage you.
Finally, guard yourself from believing that this is all about you ministering to them. I have seen God repeatedly use these new and growing relationships to teach me valuable lessons that I would have never learned on my own.
Isn’t it just like God to make it a win-win situation for everyone?!
PRAYER: Lord, may I lovingly pursue relationships the way you have pursued and loved me. Amen.