Does Your Position or Job Determine Who You Are?

When I got into management I was encouraged to read self-help books. Along with studying my Bible I read a number of books that guaranteed to make you successful. It was surprising how much material seemed to be taken from Scripture. Then there was information that contradicted the Bible. Philippians 2:3 – 4 – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of us should look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others.” This verse was just the opposite of what the books were teaching, such as “nice guys finish last.” Then there is “the shortcut to riches”. Think and grow rich! The magic of thinking big. And invest on margin by using other people’s money.

Paul writes in Philippians 2:21 – “For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.” The use of “everyone” indicates that we as humans struggle with focusing on Jesus. We would rather be concerned about our own self-interests and needs than on Christ or others.

I have known a number of individuals who were power hungry and their position meant everything to them. They used that position to impress others in order to get what they wanted. There were times when people would ask where I worked and what did I do. I would reply by saying I was a store manager at Montgomery Ward. Often they would ask what department? I would state the entire store. Some would be impressed. When I became a financial advisor and people asked what I did for a living, I would tell them. I quickly learned how used car salesmen must feel when they tell others what their job is. It is actually very sad that we place a person’s importance by the position they hold.

What seems to make some Christians different? They have a servant’s heart. In our book we tried to point out some of the advantages of being a Christian.

We learn very rapidly that there can be a tremendous difference between bosses and leaders. I am referring to anyone who directs operations, determines strategies and/or supervise people. This could fit a number of people. What I have learned is there is a difference in what a person does and how they do it. In short, bosses boss and leaders lead. Bosses issue commands and demand unquestioning obedience from workers. They are not inclined toward explanations. They simply tell people what to do.

Leaders also issue commands. But they seek cooperation. Leaders encourage questions and suggestions. They explain goals and strategies for achieving the task and coach workers along the way. We might define the difference between bosses and a leader as the difference between forced labor and teamwork. The essence of leadership is industriousness and humility. Leadership also requires a mixture of natural talent, acquired skills, practice and hard work. To me, Jesus was the perfect example to follow. He selected His team, worked closely with them, teaching and training them and when they were ready; He sent them out in twos and gave them authority over evil spirits for a “pregame” scrimmage.

Christians do not receive special breaks from the laws of nature or the rough and tumble workplace. We will be hit with typical workplace problems. What we do have is a spiritual advantage that overcomes anything life or business can throw at us. Those who believe and trust in God’s power gain greater endurance, self-control, peace, joy, passion and the ability to stay calm under crisis and even come out on top.

Ask yourself who will be most impressed with their position: the boss or the leader? George Washington was a true leader. He didn’t order his men to fight. He led them. He didn’t do what was best for George but what was best for America. He was asked to become a king and he turned it down in favor of a republic. History doesn’t indicate that Washington allowed his positions to determine who he was and neither should we.

The one person having the greatest position of all was Jesus. Christ was the Son of God with unlimited powers over the universe. There was absolutely nothing that He could not have had. With a position unparallel, He was the most humble person with a servant’s heart. He came that we might know God, to redeem us from our sins and to adopt us into God’s family. So how important a person’s job or position in life is should not matter. What does matter is that we are God’s children and are willing to be a servant for Him and others.

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1 Comment

  1. Jacqueline Mertel

     /  January 5, 2010

    One of your best. Thank you for being such a source of encouragement and inspiration for me! God Bless!!


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