A number of decades ago in my more youthful leadership years, I had a young coworker who excelled at being a thorn in the flesh. He was in the wrong employment at the time, because in actuality the only probable employment for him was to work under no one, but himself. He simply could not be lead and neither did he have any grace for being part of a team. His team was made up of one: himself. While he didn’t realize it, he was a teacher, a great one. He taught me so much about what not to do, how not to act and who not to be. It was painful trying to work with him, but to this day I know I walk in lessons learned from this man.
Stories I could tell are too excruciating to relate, but what I do desire to recount is what I learned in working with him.
- I learned to become more dependent upon the grace of God to not continually react in the flesh.
- I learned that my will did not need to be as strong as his.
- I learned that dying to myself was a good thing…no, a God thing
- I learned to not take offense from his frequent accusations.
- I learned that pent up anger will eventually explode.
- I learned that to hurt in kind and in return only reduced me to his level.
- I learned that it’s easy to talk about forgiveness and much harder to forgive all too frequent damages.
- I learned that revenge and obsessing about revenge destroys my mind, affects my spirit and creates a living torment.
- I learned that to be falsely accused, rejected and repeatedly wounded was to identify with Christ in greater measure.
- I learned that God’s love transcends narcissism and every wound it dishes out so that God’s love can change my coworker and me. And the more I learned about the love of God, the more my heart was enlarged to love.