We all disagree on topics with other people. It is inevitable and expected. Not everyone will agree on all points and approaches to the task at hand or the long-term strategy, or who should make the presentation or sales call. Whenever there is a collection of people to make a decision there will be dissenters. Dissenting is not a bad thing but in the workplace a dissenting vote can mean more than just disagreeing and moving on. At work a disagreement with another person can be taken as a full-frontal assault, a stab at someone’s competence, or to the person who is being disagreed with a lack of loyalty from their peers. Thus, at work, getting other people to agree and take your side can become a sophisticated weave of politicking. And, that happens whether we like it or not. We are taught early on to “have the room with us before making a presentation”. That means that before the meeting we are to have gotten around to everyone who is going to be in attendance and be sure that they know what is going to be presented and get enough support that in the meeting itself there are no surprises and the pitch or proposal gets enough support to move forward. We are taught this politicking very young in our careers and then we spend the rest of our work life trying to master the lesson. By nature, I like to think I am more agreeable than disagreeable. I like to see others succeed so crossing paths with others is uncomfortable and sticks with me. I have lost many a night’s sleep thinking about how someone else is going to feel about my disagreement and counter point of view. I worry about not only how they will feel at the time, but what will be the long-term ramifications and what I can expect back in return in the future? Where will my decision today sit me with this person and others in the future? It’s a silly concern, but I tell you this, because I think it is one that we all face regularly in our jobs. And when we are put in this situation, we need to look beyond ourselves to bring us the peace to continue to stand by a decision and do what we think is right and correct for the issue at hand. After many of those sleepless nights, I finally began to turn these concerns over to God and I tried to let go of my downstream worries and stay in the moment. What I have learned is that God is there to bring us peace within the turmoil of our work. He knows what it feels like to take a counter point of view and the looks, jeers and rejections that come from holding firm and resolute. Imagine the rejection and repercussions that came for Jesus when He swept through the Temple, upending the tables of the merchants! Not only was He taking a strong stand he was certainly crossing others in their livelihood and their work. Jesus knows what we feel in our jobs. God gives us His word that He will bring us the peace we need, if we will call on him; “The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in Him.” Today starts a three-day weekend and I suspect that there are many of us who will go into this weekend with one or more of these nagging work problems. Before you leave the office today, take a moment to sit at your desk or work-station, and ask God to give you the peace and refuge that you need to leave the disagreements, the crossings, the politics of work, at the office for the weekend. Ask Him to take the labor out of this weekend and replace the worry and concern with peace. Honor Him this long weekend for accepting that request by replacing every doubting thought with prayer of praise and thanks for being a God who comes to work with us so that we can live out His purpose!
From one of God’s Laborers to another, Happy Labor Day weekend!
Reference: Nahum 1:7 (New Living Testament)