The Christian Public Servant – “not to judge but to save”

whip1

April 4, 2018 – Wednesday

Reading

John 3:17 [NLT] God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

John 2:15 [NLT] Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables.

Reflection

I remember it like yesterday. I was chair of a department, and I was waiting for a colleague to knock on my office door. Back from a professional conference in New York, she had submitted the reimbursement paperwork. In reviewing the receipts, I discovered several discrepancies. She paid for a high-priced dinner for friends, using the rationale that they talked about work-related issues. She stayed at a more expensive hotel rather than the already-costly conference hotel. She justified a side-trip to visit her son at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point.

She finally entered my office, wondering if I had accepted her reasoning. I sat there wondering what Jesus would do.

Scripture states Jesus came not to judge but to save us. Yet scripture also reminds us that He got out a whip and turned over tables to get His point across. Still no one was hurt.

So, I chose not to judge but to save this colleague from herself. The whip I pulled out was a denial of reimbursement. Still no reprimand was issued and, by the way, her travel money was eliminated for the rest of the year. Like the money-changers in the temple, she was not permanently hurt – nothing in her personnel file – but I got my point across.

If you are a first-line manager, regardless of work organization, you have the toughest job. Each day, you need not to judge but to save employees from themselves. Yet you must find ways within agency policy and practice to get your point across.

Today at work, you may feel like getting out the whip and turning over tables to hurt someone’s job or career. When that temptation hits you, stop and think about Christ. He didn’t hurt anyone. So, find ways not to judge but to save that employee from himself. Your point will be made!

Prayer

Father God, give me the understanding of scripture – all of scripture – when I must address problems in my workplace. Let me not just rest on a scripture that comforts me, but on all scriptures that will glorify You. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

James D. Slack, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Public Policy and Administration
Jackson State University
Jackson, Mississippi USA

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