James 3, v 13-17
One of the downsides about being at work full-time and having my husband at home full-time is that I often feel we are doing something wrong, because it’s a different set-up to most other families. I spend alot of time thinking how nice it would be if I didn’t have to work and my husband had a well-paid job so we would just be like everyone else. People tell me how much they admire me for juggling a career with small children, and how tough it is, and how they had the same issues when their kids were small, but often I feel like the odd one out at work. Most of the people in my team either don’t have a family or their kids are older and less likely to wake up at 4am for a party on a school-night.
This week we were looking at the book of James again and had a long discussion about how easy it is to say the wrong thing and set off an argument without realising, or to gossip about people at working a way that would be hurtful if they knew what you were saying. One phrase stood out to me more than the others
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
I think I definitely could do with being less envious and enjoying my life the way it is now. I won’t have this time when the children are small again, and rather than wishing I was at home more often, I need to enjoy the time I do have with them, and make the most of it. I also need to be more appreciative of how well my husband looks after the kids and our home.
I am quite a laid back person, but have always taken my career quite seriously and am now in a senior position of leadership within the council. Instead of wishing I didn’t have difficult decisions to make, I need to be proud of my achievements and work opportunities that other people don’t have.
Like many women I worry that someone is going to “find out” that I am in fact an imposter, and should not be taken too seriously. However since looking at this passage I’ve tried to be wise at work in a more godly way. This has mainly involved not talking over people, listening to others more and being less defensive if I think someone is criticising me, and trying to see things from their point of view. James points out:
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.