I had a co-worker many years ago who discovered she was the victim of secret sabotage in the workplace. She was an energetic salesperson with a pleasing personality, who had the ability to really connect with her clients. She was attractive, magnetic, and her positive attitude brought true value to the company we served. None of us knew why anyone would have her in their cross hairs. What we did know was a happy vivacious saleswoman, now began to appear frustrated, anxious, and defeated; fearful as to when the next work place incident was going to unravel her success.
When she brought her suspicions to management, it seems they initially balked. How did they know for sure she wasn't imagining things? The person she was implicating was an otherwise good employee that no one else would have suspected. But as time went on, the evidence became too clear and irrefutable, and the saboteur was eventually called into question. He was thoroughly grilled by management and presented with the evidence. Finally, he was forced to come clean and confess his outrageous schemes and mind-games used to destroy a fellow employee's sales success, while creating a negative image for the company. He was promptly let go of his position and basically fired on the spot.
In God's kingdom just as in everyday life, we humans can become a real hindrance to one another. Perhaps you wonder why you are dealing with a person who appears to be against you when you are "just trying to do your job". You don't understand why they seem to seize every opportunity to discredit you. These may be people who appear dismissive, overly critical, or discouraging. People who, when you attain personal success are strangely silent, but who suddenly appear like flies on road kill every time you make a mistake. Soon you begin to feel like road kill just waiting for the next truck to run you over. If you have ever been there, this is precisely where the devil wants you, because when you begin to feel like road kill, you won't succeed in doing anything worthwhile in the world, or in God's kingdom. Satan's strategy accomplished.
Here is my take on what is really happening. When this becomes our experience, somehow we have gotten our eyes off of Jesus and onto people. We are looking to the wrong source for spiritual strength and validation. We've crossed the line somewhere, and now we are suffering the ill effects of our own self-sabotaging ways. Yes, by looking to the wrong source for validation, WE have succeeded in becoming our own saboteurs! In the process, we have begun to feel a bit too sorry for ourselves. All is not lost however. Jesus is still on the throne.
Learn to view these negative experiences in a positive light. Consider how God may have allowed this person into your life to make you a better Christian. Stop feeling victimized. Take a new perspective. Humbly look for something your critic is saying you actually might need to hear (even if it comes across too judgmentally). Who knows, maybe they feel constrained to point out your mistakes for the good of God's kingdom. If so, figure out what it is God may be trying to tell you, even if you feel like you're being run over rough shod. Bury the hatchet. It takes grace and humility to turn the other cheek and not retaliate.
The fact is, antagonists can come in handy. The psalmist wrote "Let the righteous smite me - it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities," (Psalm 141:5 KJV). Take whatever good you can out of the experience and grow in Christ without laying down and assuming "road kill" status. Remember, God allowed this person into your life for a reason, and Jesus is watching how you handle it.
Paul's words to the church at Rome ring true for every believer in any stressful situation: " Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which in in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35-39 KJV). Paul's theme is repeated to the Corinthians when he wrote: "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." (II Corinthians 12:10 KJV).
Copyright 2016 (Revised from previous post of same title).
Toni M. Babcock is author of The Stone Writer, Christian Fiction for Young Readers and Teens.
Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com CHRISTIAN WRITER