The Christian Public Servant – “accomplishments sought for envy”

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September 6, 2017 – Wednesday

Reading
Ecclesiastes 4:4 [NIV] And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Matthew 5:16 [NIV] let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Reflection
I once worked at a gambling casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi. There, the unofficial policy was to reward higher performance appraisal scores to employees willing to give more than what they receive from the company. Sacrifice was an important attribute. But once proving your willingness to sacrifice, it became easier to move up the ladder of success.

So, I tried my best to sacrifice, mainly because I was as desperate as anyone else to keep a job. Yet when I succeeded, I found a larger problem: I was despised by coworkers I jumped ahead of; and the few who were once my bosses, well, they hated me when I became their boss.

Do you work in an environment like I once did? Where employees are “asked” to do all sorts of things – take odd shifts or work fewer hours – and not complain, just to show they are team players? Is there jealousy of those who do better in that kind of rat-race?

Scripture says accomplishments sought for envy are meaningless in His eyes. Good performance is important, yes, but in glorifying God (even in a casino workplace like mine), good deeds will not be done for greed or from ambition. Instead, shine your light, letting all coworkers know your relationship with Christ is far more important than what you sacrifice to an employer. If not that way, you are just chasing after the wind.

As you work today, remember Who you work for. Don’t choose accomplishments sought for envy. Show your good deeds in the proper light, His light, and others will not resent you.

Prayer
Lord, You are the light that shines within me. Thank you for the lessons you provide about desperation and greed. Allow me to be Your servant because, within Your love, I will never be desperate – I will never be greedy, and I will never envy. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

Calvin Reed, Jr.
MPA Candidate
Belhaven University
Jackson, Mississippi USA

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