“It must be me”, we often conclude when met with resistance. Compliance then seems to be the way out.
Kids, at a very young age, yearn for approval of others, especially their parents. They will sacrifice anything to get the smile from their parents as a mean of comfort, a sign of acceptance. That’s wrong. That’s entirely wrong. When this issue is left unchecked, they go through life as people-pleasers. They fear rejection of any kind. So they will do everything demanded of them to impress their parents, friends, teachers, co-workers, bosses, spouses and even their own children later in life.
It is wrong when we rob others of the comfort they seek from our benevolence. Whether it is our spouse, our children, our friends, or our employees, we continue a vicious cycle that only Christ can pull them away from.
That cycle was the foundation of my lifetime before I met Christ personally. Raised in church, raised in a Christian household, I always tried my hardest to please my parents, to get the good grades, to do just as my teachers would expect, to do beyond what my managers would expect in the hope of not being met with rejection.
This year, I was offered to submit my talent for review for an upcoming team meeting. Instantly, in my heart, I felt no other desire but to share my talent as the joy of sharing the gospel, my personal testimony.
I met with rejection. I felt offended, after sharing something that was very personal to me. I felt the full blow of the team that I work with stating, “Sam, we like you, but we don’t appreciate this part of you”. And the part that was rejected is my foundation, Christ himself. At first, I felt rejections and sorrows.
But then later the Lord guided my spirit to relief. He brought my attention to Matthew 5:11-12,
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
After remembering the words of Christ as such, I had never felt so relieved. My talent was rejected as “preaching”, “inappropriate for workplace”, when all I did was share how joyful I am of Christ, of God, what they have done for me. That’s it. That’s all I did. No magic trick, no disappearing in thin air, no cutting folks in half, but simply sharing what makes me joyful. Believe it or not, the judges, for the most part, are Christian themselves. Fear might have overwhelmed them. Fear of being reprimanded for my entry, fear of maybe losing their job over my entry, fear of being judged an accomplice to my entry. They ditched it. But then they ask me if I could sing a song instead, maybe a hymn. At first, I said “no, that won’t be necessary”. But then when I thanked everyone for making me the honorable recipient of the rejection, I was asked again if I could sing, and this time I said “Ok, if you want me to sing, I will sing.” What shall I sing? Maybe “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine”, “At Calvary”, “Nothing but the blood of Jesus”. If I ever get to sing, whatever it will be, it will be my moment of worship, my own moment of joy.
Christians are, by fear, limiting themselves in ways that they are to express their joy in their faith. Many fear of not being hired, of being passed on a promotion, or of even being fired. What many do not understand is that they can be let go whenever as the company so decides.
I can’t leave my faith out of my job. If my job is of any value to me, it is because of my faith, my faith in Christ. You may not hear me saying “Christ” or “Jesus” at every heartbeat. But what I do or say, the freedom and wisdom that I have to do or say it, it’s all from him.
“and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)
Leading a quiet life simply means not to get involved in the false dealings of the world. It doesn’t mean to hide under a table, to keep your saltiness to yourself. Many shares their joy over sports, food, art. I share my joy over Christ to whomever is listening.
This is my story. This is my song. Praising my savior all the day long.