Failing at Success
God on Monday
‘Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word’ (2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17)
“With great power comes great responsibility.” No, this is not the Bible, this is Spiderman. But the saying gets you thinking. What do we do with the power we have?
In the above verses from Thessalonians, Paul blesses his readers. He prays that their hearts will be encouraged, and that they will be strengthened in every good work and word.
Preceding these verses, Paul writes about a lawlessness that is not of God. In this environment, the lawless exalt themselves over everything associated with God.
This warning applies to the contemporary workplace. Here we are often enticed to climb the ladder of success, even if that means exploiting others. Instead of reflecting hope and grace, we indulge in criticism, gossip and rivalry, all in a veiled bid to succeed. We may file a complaint about another colleague, for instance, in order to promote ourselves.
God may well want us to succeed in our work. But do we use our ambition to succeed responsibly? When we reach goals, do we acknowledge God’s help, rather than credit ourselves?
If not, we may be failing, rather than succeeding – failing to build God’s kingdom. We are amassing gains (perhaps including financial ones) to ourselves while neglecting the needs of those around us. We are failing at success.
God calls us to be world-changers in our workplaces. Paul’s words encourage us to respond to this call with good words and deeds. In demonstrating hope and grace toward others, we reflect the way God deals with us.
God’s grace is for all. Each day this week, as you begin your work, intentionally breathe in God’s grace and let it influence how you respond to others throughout the day. Challenge yourself to use whatever power you have responsibly.
Lord God, bless us in our work this week. May the encouragement we receive from you inspire us to selfless action that builds your kingdom. Amen
Practice and exercise are ways to grow stronger. Make it a conscious daily habit to grow in good words and deeds. Keep a journal to track your progress.
, Former legal administrator, now Assistant Operations Manager at Holy Trinity Church, Boar Lane, Leeds.
God on Monday is produced in partnership with the Church of England. The reflections are based on the scriptural readings designated for the coming Sunday in the Church's lectionary. You can sign up to Faith in Business here to receive each God on Monday instalment. Feel free to share these reflections with your contacts via email and social media.