This is how the conversations generally go.
"We need this [insert arbitrary and useless task here] done by by noon. Can you do it?"It usually starts in a pleasant tone. You know, not too forceful or pushy. It doesn't need to be because that's the end of the conversation. No argument or compromise. There's no "this will be the last time" or "we really need your help on this". It's just do it now because you get paid more and therefore have to deal with more.
"Well, it's not really part of my job. Plus, I've got two classes before noon."Outside of managing, I do teach as well. Sure, I don't teach nearly as much as I used to or as much as my teachers, but I do have some teaching responsibilities.
"Yeah, but you're the manager."For some reason, I hear this line a lot. I think I was promoted for the sole purpose of manipulation.
"Right. I manage teachers and students. I don't deal with advertising."In and out. It's like talking to a statue. I don't get any response or even a change of expression.
"You can do it. Thank you."And that's how it goes for me, kiddos. There's no offer of compromise or genuine appreciation. It's simply a firm directive with the presumption that I will oblige. Yesterday, my boss did the same thing. I was in my classroom reading the Bible. I was reading John 8: 31-32. You know it.
So Jesus said to those who believed in him, "If you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.I was really in the mode. The emotions were flowing and I was feeling it. Then, the door burst open and there stood my boss. She's an interesting character. She speaks English well, but has no idea what tact is. Well, that's not totally true. She understands Korean tact, but if we were to compare that to Western tact, most people would say that Korean tact is in fact rude. I agree in most cases.
In her hand was a large packet of paper. I knew she was about to ask me to do something for her, so I tried to appear really busy. It didn't work though. Someone reading the Bible doesn't count as busy, I guess. I bet Jesus would disagree. He'd probably tell Matthew. I like to think of Matthew as Jesus' personal ringer. He's a tough talker. Either way, she approached me and handed me the packet. I sighed a bit, but not loud enough for her to hear it. I didn't really care what it was, I just knew that I didn't want to do it. I have the entire Bible to read and editing extra work is not what I wanted to do.
Feeling angry and a bit defeated, I sat down and started reading the paperwork. It turned out that it was an academic piece on the history of Korean missionaries throughout the world. It discussed the challenges the Church is facing as mega-churches are popping up throughout the country. The main point of the paper was how much damage non-denominational churches are doing to the religion. It mentioned that these churches were actually acting more as businesses insofar that they were tailoring their messages to attract new converts rather than preaching by denominational creeds or rituals. This trend is damaging the reputation of Korean missionaries. I knew that this church-business blurring was happening in the US, but did not think it had made its way to Korea yet. What do you expect though? The Protestant Korean pastors see millionaires like Osteen and Warren and want their piece of the pie.
It was an absolutely fantastic read and I was happy to get a hold of it. In fact, I made several copies of it. This, however, is my problem. I got so worked up about doing the extra work and when I actually did it, I felt great and had even learned something. This sort of thing happens a lot to me and I know it happens to most people.
It's so easy for me to be inconvenienced by others. I let my knee-jerk reactions control my behavior rather than what I know to be right. I waste so much time analyzing the motives of others that I forget that compassion should always be my main concern. I've gotta change my reflexive reactions. My mother always has told me that I have a "big heart" and in some cases that might be true, but I have a long way to go. My first reaction when asked a favor should not be anger, distrust and contempt.
Luke put it well. Jesus was healing a crippled woman at a synagogue on the Sabbath and an official got angry at him and told Jesus that people should not be healed on the Sabbath.
The Lord answered him. You hypocrites! Any one of you would untie your ox or your donkey from the stall and take it out to give it water on the Sabbath. Now here is a descendant of Abraham who Satan has kept in bonds for eighteen years; should she not be released on the Sabbath? - Luke13: 15-16He's right. I would help my wife, family or friends, so why can't I help my boss or anyone else for that matter. Am I that selfish? If her motives aren't pure, then that's her business. I overreacted. A fellow child of God asked for help and I fought it.
My question is this: How do I properly forgive people? Or this case, should I ask my boss for forgiveness? The Bible says a lot about forgiveness and I really like it, but how do I forgive someone? Do I have to tell them or can I do it through prayer?
Stay tuned. Tomorrow, I will be confessing some things that I think merit forgiveness.