You Are Not That Important

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling

If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

Galatians 6:3-4

Much of our time at work is spent trying to make a good impression. We are being paid, after all, to do a good job, and there’s no doubt that we are constantly watched and evaluated by a 360 panorama of witnesses: superiors, peers and subordinates. There’s a fine line, however, between channeling our gifts and talents towards maximum career impact, and conducting ourselves with grace and humility in the workplace.

After shaming the Galatians into focusing their attention on helping other people, now (in what may turn out to be my new favorite bible verse of all time) Paul turns up the blunt-meter (as he does so well) and confronts the Galatians with this: “You are not that important.” Your position, your brilliant education, your big salary if you are so fortunate, your flowing robes, none of this means a thing if you can’t bring yourself to see the pain and needs in others, and move to action.

The antidote for our self-delusion of pride is loving service towards others.

Questions for Reflection: Is “looking important” a driving force for your work behavior? How much time and effort do you put towards making a good impression on people? How does that take energy away from being authentic with people, serving or helping those we work with?

Prayer: Lord, we are so easily caught up in the drama of our own story of significance. Often, this is where we turn for comfort and assurance, when in truth it is empty and fleeting. Only you can provide the spiritual fullness we seek, and it paradoxically comes through giving to others as you did for us in your ultimate act of love and sacrifice on the cross. Help us to follow your lead, recognizing that it is often in small ways, dealing in selfless love every day at our jobs with the people we encounter. Amen.

P.S. by Mark Roberts: At certain times throughout the year, I invite others to write a few Daily Reflections. This week's reflections will be written by J.B. Wood. In addition to being a Content Editor for The High Calling, J. B. is a Senior Vice President of a large business in the Northeast USA. At Shrinking the Camel J. B. regularly confronts the challenges of integrating professional life and spiritual life with humor. His most recent book is At Work As It Is In Heaven: 25 Ways to Re-Imagine the Spiritual Purpose of Your Work. I know you will be encouraged by J. B.’s reflections on Galatians 6. I'll be back with you on Saturday.