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There was a time in my life when my work life wasn't so easy. Now when I say "easy" I don't mean whe whole climbing the corporate ladder and working 100 hours for days drama... My high "D" type personality probably would have categorized days like that as "fun" and "challenging". This "easy" for me, the people pleasing, love to be loved, everyone should have a Catherine is a Rock Star T-shirt human side of me... means that it was a time when not everyone liked me and I was dodging some daggers thrown strategically at my backside.
I know hold on to your Starbucks cup right.... the thought of it! I mean what is not to love! At this point in my life I seemed to especially want approval and because my job was secondary in our families "fiscal" health I wasn't striving as much for success as I was connection with the outside "adult" world. Not so "easy" for me came in the form of a co-worker who, to be blunt, was not always honest. You know the kind.. come on... one day you are having lunch chatting about future ideas and vision and then the next day, BAM! You realize your rear end has been placed on the "block" in order to save that very person, by that very person! Now I have enough rear end to spare thank goodness, but right is right and wrong is wrong... RIGHT
I soon began voicing my concern and frustration a little bit at a time to you know just a handful of my trusted peers, colleagues, and supervisors (code in girl language for "anyone who would listen"). I wanted my boss and those we worked with to get the full picture and understand I was not at fault. I was transparent about my weakness, this is something I had learned was healthy and I was very comfortable with. They just had to understand what was going on and because I had shown so much loyalty, and respect, and honesty, about myself... surely they would understand that given the source (me with my halo firmly in place) the situation with my co-worker was serious with a capital S!
There is no doubt I was heard... I mean I seriously think I was heard so often my friends started asking me as soon as they saw me what was up with "MR. ???" ... hmmm what should I call him, I know... we will call him what he was Judas! So I went around wanting everyone to be aware of all the crazy things this Mr. Judas was doing. Now, please don't get me wrong there were things I needed to share and I am not saying that when it comes to integrity we aren't call to hold others to the same standard we hold ourselves. But I had communicated my concerns to the powers that be, and nothing and I mean nothing changed. After about a year I was more than frustrated, and tried to quit. Guess who worked through my non-resignation with me and my superiors, you guessed it Mr. Judas! I was grateful but leery and sure enough not two weeks passed before BAM I was hit upside the head with another attack on my integrity and my performance. I was more than frustrated and had lost hope in my supervisors and the internal structure of our team in general.
Why wasn't anyone listening and why didn't they see my way was the best way... seriously do I need to go back to the whole everyone should be wearing a Catherine Rocks T-shirt thing? Why didn't they want to change what was wrong and why didn't they care that the behavior of one person was slowly sinking a ship we were all riding on. Hmmmmm I am going to include a link here for the song "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" so you guys can relate to what I am sure God was seeing in this situation that I couldn't at the time
That's right I am sure heaven was rocking to a whole lot of the spin doctors during my time of trial! But God had a message for me and it took so long for me to be willing to hear it. One day as I was lamenting having torn my coach bath town in anguish. (Ok that was a little Biblical Humor people in the Bible used to lament by tearing their clothes, it was a serious way to go to God in repentance and while I joke a little here... I don't mean to dismiss the Holiness of repentance and reverence before God which was exactly where He was calling me) .
God spoke to my heart and asked me what I thought about Jesus not dealing with Judas even though he knew Judas would betray Him. Yes, seriously.... floored and convicted. The whole time my Jesus walked this earth with His disciple's He allowed Judas to walk along side of Him. Even though his motives and his heart never really got what Jesus was all about and the end result of that would be Judas selling Jesus for a few coins and some temporary fame.
From www.blueletterbible.com Matthew 26:25 - Matthew 27:3
Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, "Teacher, I'm not the one, am I?" And Jesus told him, "You have said it yourself." And even as he said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a mob that was armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent out by the leading priests and other leaders of the people. Judas had given them a prearranged signal: "You will know which one to arrest when I go over and give him the kiss of greeting." So Judas came straight to Jesus. "Greetings, Teacher!" he exclaimed and gave him the kiss. When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and other leaders.
So Jesus just let it go, turned the other cheek and focused on His father's business. He was more concerned with things like praying in the garden, and having a meal with the disciples than making sure God was going to deal with Judas. He had grace from start to finish... grace and trust that in God's plan there was perfection even though it didn't make sense. He did call Judas out (consistent with His word Jesus sought out His accuser face to face Matthew 18:15 "If another believer [fn] sins against you, go privately and point out the fault.) Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, "Teacher, I'm not the one, am I?" And Jesus told him, "You have said it yourself." It still floors me that Judas knew Jesus had his number and yet He still went ahead with the plot. But then I still eat more than my fair share of TCBY yogurt when I go and God has called me out on that a million times so who am I to judge.
Jesus tells us in His word to keep our eyes focused on Him, judge only the plank in our own eye (the things we do personally to keep us from a close relationship with Him and in safety), to turn the other cheek, and to allow the control to rest solely in Him. He tells us that he has placed people in authority over us and that they will not always act right (just ask Daniel and Nebakanezer), but through it all if we trust Him things will work out for good for those that love Him. Humility, trust, turn the other cheek... those are the things wimps are made of right? Was that going to protect my job?
Well, maybe so... maybe not. Either way it would place me in the perfect will of my Father and there is just no better place for me to be. So, I began focusing on my own "plank" and not on Judas. I realized that maybe I had been spending a whole lot more time than I realized focusing on the misbehaviorof another, time that I should have been giving as an honest days wage to my boss. I also choose to trust God's work in my supervisors life. He was a man who I respected outside of this situation and had been loyal to me despite my annoying chatter about Judas. I would not know how things were being handled, I just needed to trust that God had placed me under this person's authority and trust God would move when and how He choose. It did help that unlike Daniel, my supervisor was a believer.
I guess you could say I stopped paying attention to Judas and started paying attention to Jesus and it made all of the difference in the world. Paying attention to Jesus meant I could say no when matters challenged my integrity, with humility and respect. Turning the other cheek while Judas attempted to attack my integrity was hard, not easy and not weak. It made me much stronger. It also gave Judas enough rope to .... dare I say it... hang himself. Time revealed on its own the course that had been carved through lies and manipulation...and can you believe God didn't need me to make that happen?