Book of James and Work

It’s a good thing my Care Group is starting a study in the book of James.  I had my first lesson all prepared last night but everyone was sick or sick and tired so my hostess and I just visited.  But, I had done the lesson on the first four verses.  Very convicting and so timely for work today. 

The first four verses talk about counting it all joy when diverse trials come.  Not IF, but WHEN.  I’m very thankful when the times of peace and quiet and no trials come, but I’m realistic to know that they don’t last forever.  However, I don’t usually have a good reaction to them.  I would be the first to grab James by the collar and pull him close to yell through gritted teeth…”What joy?!” 

Ah, ah, ahhhhhh!  Now, now.  Consider……Anything that comes to you, both good and bad, must first pass through God’s hands.  So….why is He letting this thing pass on to you?  Sometimes it’s to teach us something, sometimes it’s to grow us up, sometimes it’s the consequence of sin, and sometimes it’s just the result of a fallen world.  Whatever the reason, God has a purpose for it in your life.  Everytime you whine and complain and  (in my case) scream at God over these things the more often He will continue to bring them back into your life until you adjust your attitude. 

Joy does not in any way mean happy.  James doesn’t tell us to be happy about our trials.  Joy is outside of happiness. Joy is knowing that God is still in control even when our normal gets turned upside down.  Joy is the confident hope that God will see you through this trial and out the other side.

I need to remind myself of this while I’m at work (and the whole self-control, kindness and gentleness stuff I’ve been working on) cuz boy are there some trials going on.  I work for a Fortune 500 company so you’d think they’d be above micro-managing every breath you take on the clock.  Oh how wrong  you would be.  And right now they are even more micro managing my group than normal.  It’s gotten so bad, a manager will literally come to your desk and ask you “What did you do all day  yesterday?”  Now, you  have to  understand my job is very technical and absolutely nothing we do takes the same amount of time everytime you do it.  There is a lot of troubleshooting and analyzing that has to go on to make sure we don’t take out a Wallyworld or something.  Unfortunately, we didn’t “make our numbers” the first two months of the year and the Powers That Be simply won’t accept the explanation that the numbers were not there to be gotten.  So, now we have to click links in one program to say “I did this “, fill out a CYA form to say “I did this “, and sign, date and copy the sheet of work you were working on to do ” this ”  and turn it into a manager so they can count how many things you looked at and how many you were actually able to work out of the ones you had to look at.  Does any of this make any sense at all to a real thinking person?  Cuz right now I’m thinking upper management and the Powers That Be have completely lost their minds. 

This is where James 1:1-4 coms in.  It is a trial to go to work now when I have had the privilege of loving my job for the last ten years.  Not many people get to say that.  This trial is not just about my management and the Powers That Be.  This is also a trial of my Christian maturity which I have to admit was sorely lacking today.  This is a trial for me to practice that self-control I need and to also practice being kind and gentle to my management and Powers That Be instead of telling them in detail where they can stick it. 

God is still in control of middle management and the Powers That Be in Fortune 500 companies.  The heart of managers and the hearts of the Powers That Be are in the hands of the Lord.  My paraphrase.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jeanie
    Apr 02, 2009 @ 23:57:18

    J O Y was the great revelation of my Christmas season this past year, as in: I WILL JOY in the God of my salvation (the word joy there meaning to twirl and dance vigorously, jumping and leaping), in spite of the fact that a few verses earlier Habakkuk had said the fig tree wasn’t blossoming…there was no fruit on the vine, the fields were yielding no food, etc. You know – your basic barren time. Then? I WILL joy – in my God! Good times with Father no matter what!


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