My Pride–It Caused a Fall

I just finished a tiring and grueling project for my new boss and we sat down to set performance goals for 2011. She recognized some of the accomplishments of my project but gave me an area to improve. I believe the area for improvement was based on false premises but I did not tell her that. This area hit me hard–yes, my view, that I used “sloppy” English but she viewed my responses to 1 person as not being alert to customer needs and not being responsive to a customer.

This hit me hard because as I learned through the DISC personality analysis a few months later, my dominate value/attribute is conscientious. In fact, the department is conscientious either as the dominate or as a secondary trait. So, I wanted to do excellent work, please my boss and all my customers.

I wrestled all night with the struggle of how to deal with improving in an area where I did not honestly see a gap in performance. I had slaved for her though this project and she used something I said in a weak moment and expanded it to not meeting customer expectations. That was my view.

I just happened to have an early appointment with a brother from my church the next morning at 7 AM. We sat and chatted. I believe I brought this issue up to him, though he had come to me for help. I’ll never forget what he said in response: “We don’t have a right to be right, our only right is to be broken.” I knew that was the word that God wanted me to hear. It caused pain but it produced tremendous release also. I thanked the brother for saying that. “I needed that. That is what God wanted to say to me this morning.” We prayed and I left.

Again lots of pain from being “wronged” My brother’s words rang true and released what I had been gripped by. It would be months later before I knew what that was. I wept and rejoiced that morning however. I thanked God for the release and received His love and acceptance. I sensed His love over me all day and what a sensation that is!! It was a wonderful time to rejoice though issues were not resolved at work. I did accept that God had me in that moment for a reason and there was a purpose for me going through whatever the ramifications or outcomes of my boss’s evaluation.

Fast forward to July. I picked up Gospel Christianity Leaders Guide to review a C. S. Lewis quote & Tim Keller’s comments on it in the Section: What is Wrong with Us?

From Keller’s commentary, I discovered several thought processes that caused pride in my heart. We had a leadership change above me at work. I had indirectly blamed God for the change and subconsciously blamed Him for the change in circumstances. The Keller commentary on Lewis’ quote revealed that my heart thought that I deserved better leadership than God had put in place over me. He had replaced a model manager, (and fellow church member by the way), with one who didn’t have the leadership abilities of my former boss.

Because pride is a deadly sin, I surrendered my view to God, that is,the desire or want to deserve better than what I had at the moment. Because it is pride, because pride is subtle, because we use the word/the concept in a positive way I need help in knowing when it is rising in my heart again. I know I need to keep repenting of it.

I now know I am my boss’ servant. I may be her way to Jesus. Serving her may provide a model to others around me.

I can freely and joyfully serve her and leave the outcomes to Jesus because He wants the best for me and all those around me at work.

Serving her is a way to produce fruit I will never see in the Kingdom otherwise.

This story shows also how God sovereignly uses his body to minister. This brother happened to be living hand to mouth at the moment. He had been through a pastoral care process and almost divorced. He had even reacted or rejected his care team and the process by sending out emails maligning the church pastor. Yet today he was ministering to me by just being himself and saying what God was bringing to his mind.

Another great outcome is that this whole scene was an additional opportunity to trust God for my 6 month evaluation. I approached it with some trepidation. I did not know my boss’ view of my performance. I spent the morning before praying about and for the evaluation. I asked my life group to pray on Sunday night for my review. I even prayed more after life group and got a peace about the outcome of the review happening the next day.

God came through in huge ways. My boss totally dismissed the issue that she had formerly noted. She said that what she had covered with me in the past was not even an issue. But, a great outcome was that I was able to report back to the life group the answers to prayer and that God had given me a peace about the review the night before.


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