“If I don’t like your face, I can get rid of you.” That was a common statement from a former boss. He constantly told us he wanted us to be contract employees because he liked not having to deal with the union if he wanted to get rid of us. He said that he could just get my employer to replace us whenever he wanted.
Being a contract he certainly was entitled to ask for different employees. It was well within his rights. However, it isn’t his place to say those kind of things to the employees. Sure he was “joking” about it, but the Bible talks a lot about what we say:
Proverbs 12:18 – The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing
Proverbs 26:18-19 – Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”
What we say matters. In this case I was at the receiving ends of the words, but I didn’t chose the best of response either. I felt that I couldn’t approach him with genuine concerns and went a round about way through my employer. I went to them because I felt that I had needed protection from him. While I loved the work I did and most of the people I worked with, I couldn’t stay under him. I had talked with my employer about it. I miss the challenge of the work, and my coworkers. Especially the other 2 programmers. So in short I am no longer on that contract. It was mutual, but I wish it wouldn’t have had to be that way. I made my choices knowing the potential consequences of them.
I have spent the last couple of months really evaluating my motivations behind it, and it has caused growth inside me. It took me awhile to really nail down what I wrote above, but its been very freeing for me. I wish that I could have seen this earlier and put the value into my relationships. I would have invested in trying to restore that relationship. A note in and of itself would ring hollow and of self-justification.
On the other side of the coin God has really convicted me of my response to it. While I may not have done anything wrong, I could have done things better. I could have shown initiative and humility. I am here to serve and not be served. I let my anger get the better of me and the Lord hammered me: [Emphasis in bold]
In Romans 12
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Proverbs 13:3 “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”
I wish I would have taken this to heart. I see the same types of sin in myself now. I see that I say things that are not edifying to my children. I have the same type of behavior for them as I received.
I find that as I write these posts God changes my heart and shows me more sin in my life to root out. While writing this God has convicted me with the proverbs verses listed above. How many times have I responded in anger with words that I shouldn’t? How often have I said “I was only joking.” Lord my prayer is that you teach me how to remove this sin from my life. Let me not joke in ways that are demeaning to others. I pray that for the strength, the character, and the wisdom to learn to control my tongue.