2 Timothy 2:5 says “…if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.”
I’m coming to understand lately, I never win in certain games because I’m simply unable to play by certain rules.
I suck when it comes to office politics.
I tend to drag in a whole set of heavenly rules that don’t belong in that ungodly game. Do you know why I’ll never claw my way to the top of a corporation? I’m intelligent, multi-talented, professional, and hard-working. People sincerely find me likable and trustworthy. What’s wrong with me? I would crush a spot at the top.
I never make it far in a corporate office, though. And I’m pretty sure, I never will.
There’s always one person who finds me unacceptably dangerous to their own ambitions, and before I know it, I’m embroiled in a game I can’t win because the rules violate the real Race I’m running.
Also, I tend to not be paying attention, so it creeps up on me without me realizing it.
I find the rules of Office Politics to be unmerciful, deceitful, and very cut-throat. They are distasteful to me, and I am no good at all at following them.
I can’t placate superiors with self-serving lies; I can’t take credit for work I didn’t do, nor can I pretend work I did was done by someone with a fancier title than mine. I can’t assess your value as a human being by the amount of money your car cost you, nor can I pretend I find you attractive just so you’ll use your title and influence to give me things my own hard work were unable to net for me. I won’t use my looks to demean my intelligence. I can’t lay aside my belief that God is watching every single thing I say and do, assessing my true motivations, and holding me accountable to Him for all of it, and still find my way up a corporate ladder. Even worse, or maybe, better, I’m never even trying to rise up when these situations present themselves to me.
I wish I could have that martyr-like smugness of a person who was picked on for no good reason, but seriously, nothing in life is that black and white. Could I have handled myself better? Of course. I also can’t exactly whine to God about the extent of my persecution either, given that I’m not even close to being physically or emotionally devastated. I’m inconvenienced at the moment, and the level of stress that I feel over this is only a source of embarrassment for me. I’m ashamed I let this stupidity bother me, knowing my Father owns all the cattle on every hill. Where is my trust? Where is my faith? I’m ashamed at how easily I let the storm around me distract me from walking on the water.
Tonight, I opened my bible because frankly, I don’t feel like doing that much these days. I’d rather binge watch The Newsroom, rant about how crazy things have become with John Oliver, live vicariously through The Game of Thrones (because of course, while I can’t manage to win in an office fight, I’m fairly sure I could pull off being the Mother of Dragons), and feel just a bit sorry for myself, and the injustice and cowardice of insecure people that landed me in the situation I find myself in right now.
But tonight, I made a conscious decision to do something I didn’t feel like doing. I crawled back to God, bloody and bruised, naked and shaking. And He showed me this:
It’s time for me to remember the truth. 2 Timothy 2:3 “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs — he wants to please his commanding officer.” My life is not a game of thrones, and I was put here to help gather the harvest, not play office politics with people who are way better equipped to play for that tin victor’s crown. I hope I have a real crown in the next life, and the opportunity to cast it at the feet of the One who saved me with His Grace and His Mercy. I am doing something real, something important, and it says nothing bad about me at all that I don’t fit into this world when you apply the rules of the game I’m actually playing in.
According to the rules of the game that is important to me, I shouldn’t ever be slanderous, a liar, a lover of money, boastful, proud, abusive, ungrateful, unforgiving, without self-control, rash, conceited, and most importantly, having a form of godliness, but denying its power. (1 Timothy 3:2-5)
In other words, I haven’t lost anything God would have been okay with me winning using those rules. I’ll just stick to being a nobody for Him. The prize is better.