Question 5 from Terry Turpin’s Eight to Five message – Am I living my life like it’s all about me?
There’s no doubt about it – we live in a narcissistic culture these days. The world encourages us to be self-centered and egotistical. You can even find t-shirts and bumper stickers that say, “I Love Me.”
Our first reaction when thinking about this may be to compare ourselves to the extreme cases – professional athletes, celebrities, reality TV stars (if there is such a thing) – in order to make ourselves feel better about our “minor issues.” However, the inwardly focused mentality is everywhere, and one of the easiest places to observe it is in the workplace.
If I’m not careful, this is what happens to me: I wake up in the morning and think about My day; I ask God to help me with My issues; I get into the office and focus completely on My to-do list; I wonder how certain events are going to affect Me; I make sure My needs are met; I respond to others depending on My mood at the time; I leave at the end of the day gauging success on whether My day was good.
While none of these thoughts or actions are wrong in and of themselves, the Me focus across all of them is the slippery slope. I’m capable of doing an entire day at work without considering anyone else. Busy schedules, pressing deadlines, multiple priorities, big goals, and a host of other things can pressure us into a get-things-done mode that puts us first and everyone else squarely in second.
In John 4:1-42, Jesus gives us an example selfless love for others. Jesus had been traveling several miles in the heat of the day, and he had finally sat down to rest by a well. When a Samaritan woman approached the well, instead of ignoring her and focusing on his own fatigue or maybe where he was headed next, Jesus engaged her in a life-changing conversation. Over the next minutes and hours, Jesus poured His truth into her, and as a result, an entire town was given new life.
“39Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41And because of his words many more became believers. 42They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” John 4:39-42.
Jesus ended up delaying his journey by two days in order to stay in the town and share His truth with many. Can we simply take two minutes? It doesn’t take much more than that to stop by someone’s desk, send an email, or make a phone call to provide the encouragement that someone may desperately need today. It might even lead to an opportunity for you to share the Gospel with that person – and that is, after all, what we are called to do.
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Terry Turpin, partner and COO of Acumen Holdings, LLC