By Catherine Gates
Communication is critical for any of us to do our jobs well. That’s why communication challenges can be one of the greatest sources of frustration at work. Whether we are aware of it or not – or want to admit it – each of us has our own agenda. Sometimes these agendas conflict, or at least it can seem that way. When you are working to meet deadlines, feeling under pressure, working with people who operate very differently from you, those conflicting agendas are like landmines that could blow up in your face at any moment, threatening your success.
That’s why faith is so important at work. When we remember that all of our success, ideas, wisdom and direction comes from God and apart from Him we can do nothing, it’s easier to connect the dots and turn to God when we’re faced with those situations.
Faith helps us pause.
I’ve recently been focusing on a statement that comes from a Lysa Terkeurst study (Uninvited) and applies very well at work: “Don’t put into motion what needs to remain still.” She shared it in the context of temptation – we can be tempted, but we need to remain still and not pursue that temptation. Otherwise, we might find ourselves in a situation we will regret. Giving into the temptation to react out of feelings of frustration, anger, or discouragement only exacerbates the problem. Instead, we need to be still immediately (Psalm 46:10) and choose to bring that situation to God (1 Peter 5:7).
Faith helps us lean on God’s promises for our work.
The next step is to rest in God’s promises. I have been resting in Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Meditating on this verse helped me realize that when God talks about “needs” He isn’t talking about just getting by. He says … “according to the riches of his glory …” Our God is a God of abundance. He wants us to partner with Him in our work. He wants to meet all of our needs … so that we can do excellent work … so that we can bring Him glory. Our needs, which align with God’s plan for us, are much more amazing than our wants, which are often enticements from the world around us.
Just as God gives us beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3), He gives us peace instead of frustration. Instead of discouragement, He gives us new and creative ideas for accomplishing our work. He gives us deeper relationships based on mutual understanding instead of tension based on misunderstandings.
Since leaning on God’s promise in Philippians 4:19, God has been showing off in my life. He took a frustrating situation and provided mutual understanding and insight. God gave me peace when conversations got tense so that I could focus on the goal rather than conflicting agendas. He provided answers to prayer that were beyond what I could have imagined! Riches of His Glory! No kidding! Being frustrated and discouraged could not have produced these results. Trusting God does. Every. Time.
Think and Pray
Frustration happens. People, traffic, self-expectations, project plans, sales targets, technology ... we deal with frustration every day. How we respond to those frustrating moments reveals our view of God. Might He be getting your attention on something He wants to refine? Or perhaps setting the stage for you to demonstrate His fruit? (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc.)
Father, help me to see You in my moments of frustration today, to be aware of Your presence, Your working in that moment, and Your purpose for allowing me to be in the middle of it. Help me replace my frustration with a dependency and trust in You, and let that be evident in my words and actions. Amen.
© 2018. Catherine Gates is Senior Director of Content & Partnerships for Workmatters. She oversees the development, distribution and support of Workmatters content to equip marketplace leaders to live out their faith at work. To see other content from Workmatters, visit www.workmatters.org.