2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
I got a word in my spirit: leadership. A particular experience both my husband and I have shared came to mind. Actually, my husband has experienced this twice. It has been frustrating for many years. And it’s only been recently that the lesson has been understood.
Sometimes you need to learn how to be properly under a leader in order to be a leader over others.
My husband faithfully worked for a company just under ten years. He’s won employee of the quarter more than once. And he held the record for the highest numbers ever given on an employee review at that location. To give you an idea of the significance, he worked for a fortune 20 company and that location had 100+ employees. That facility had been in existence for a good 25 years at least. I know I’m biased, but my husband truly was that good.
He’s arrived to work about 15 minutes early consistently to every job he’s had since I’ve known him (which is almost 13 years.) He’s highly intelligent, works with excellence and integrity, and is a quick learner. Just one problem. He can’t get promoted.
Year after year on his reviews his supervisor would put “recommended for leadership.” But he was passed over for promotion 7 times at that company. The final time he was told “off the record” an antisemitic statement and a woman who was relatively new and under qualified got the position. She was terrible, and couldn’t do the job properly. My husband was let go soon after. Within a year the facility lost their largest customer and cut 2/3 of the workforce. That lady was among them. My husband was left feeling defeated and frustrated. Why wasn’t his hard work paying off?
Proverbs 22:29 Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.
He went through something fairly similar after that at another company. This time the company reached out after my husband quit and had new employment. Too late. They did offer him a promotion after he left. But one can’t help but to feel discouraged.
I also was passed over years ago for a promotion many thought I deserved. The position was given to a woman who had mediocre numbers while my numbers were either the highest or among the highest in the company. This was compared to 35+ others. I was so discouraged. That company a few years later closed. They had many serious issues. Even so, the unfairness stung.
Both my husband and I have experienced other rejections too. Seemingly incredibly unfair decisions. At times hypocritical. Last year as we both were talking about this subject we agreed it’s as if we’re marked. Like there’s a big bullseye on us. A sign we can’t see that reads reject us.
We are marked. Marked for leadership.
God has since shown me that, in fact, we are called to be leaders. We do have talents and giftings that involve leading. However, we must learn something. We need to know how to be under leaders (especially bad ones) and handle poor decisions with godliness and humility first. Not everyone has to walk this. But we do. It’s not fun, but it serves a purpose. God isn’t mean. We must trust He knows what He’s doing.
1 Peter 2:17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
Today, I want to encourage you to keep working hard, as unto the Lord. He sees. He knows. I realize it’s difficult and frustrating to feel held back. I’ve been under horrible management before. Many have. Stay faithful. Prayerfully consider looking for new work and see if God would open up a door somewhere else. My husband stayed a long time, hoping for promotion. But sometimes we truly are trying to climb a ladder up to nowhere.
God will give you wisdom. Seek Him wholeheartedly. Keep knocking. He will answer.
Proverbs 16:3 ESV Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Colossians 3:23 ESV Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men