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1.28.2011

Been There, Done That

It's been a slow week for free Kindle books, but here's something to  inspire you as you move into the weekend. Do you ever feel like God expects too much of you? Find out why God is so different from your boss, and how he knows exactly what you're going through.

Been There, Done That

Have you ever wished you could watch your boss try to do your job? Have you wondered if he or she could do everything you are expected to do? When I was a nurse I often wondered if management truly understood what it was like in the trenches. I also remember the satisfaction of receiving my husband’s empathy for my work as a stay-at-home mom after he had watched our boys for a day while I was away. We feel so much better when we know that someone in leadership empathizes with us, don’t we?

Photo from "Undercover Boss" on CBS
A while back, I watched the debut of a new reality television show called "Undercover Boss, where someone from the top of a corporation spent time undercover doing entry-level work for the same corporation. This boss drove a garbage truck, sorted trash, and pumped sewage from portable toilets. He struggled with some of the jobs and even got fired from one position when he couldn’t get the hang of picking up litter on a windy day. Through the experience, he gained a new appreciation for his employees and for what he was asking them to do. He began to see his employees as people and not machines. One of the greatest moments in the show came from watching the faces of the people with whom he’d worked undercover as he revealed his real identity to them.

Although some of the people were mortified when they discovered the “new” employee they’d worked with was really the president and CEO of the corporation, most of them were delighted to discover how his experience had enlightened him. Because he had been there with them, they’d acquired an ally who understood their struggles. Because he’d done the work, he saw how his corporate decisions affected them. And because he’d traded his business suit for their uniform, he became one of them, not just an observer. A follow-up note on the show explained how the resulting changes this president made had improved the morale and performance of company employees.

Do you ever feel as though living a life of faith is impossible—as if God asks you to do more than you are able? Does it feel like he’s out of touch with our reality? Fortunately, it isn’t so. Our God isn’t a boss who sits in a corporate office barking orders at his people. Nor is he a supervisor unsympathetic to our struggles. Instead, he went undercover and experienced life himself, right down to entry level as a newborn baby.

God the Father understood our desire to be understood, and Hebrews 2:14-18 tells us that he shared in our humanity by sending Jesus, his son, in human form. He was made like us in every way (vs. 17) and he himself suffered when he was tempted (vs. 18) so that he could help us. God didn’t throw an instruction manual at us leaving us to figure out how to live a life of faith and pursue holiness. He didn’t issue a corporate style order telling us to shape up. Instead, he gave us Jesus, who lived by example and asked us to follow him. Jesus experienced normal childhood, likely including bullies, unfair treatment, and skinned knees. 

Because Jesus stepped out of the glory of heaven and became one of us, we have hope.
Scripture tells us to hold firmly to what we believe because Jesus understands our weaknesses and faced the same testing that we did (Hebrews 4:14-15). And here is our message of hope: “Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Heb. 4:16, NLT).

The corporate president I mentioned above gave up a few days of CEO glory to help his employees see that he cared. Think about how much more Jesus gave up for our benefit, motivated not by profit, but by a deep love for his people. So then, we can be encouraged knowing that God is intimately involved in our lives, urging us on towards godliness, leading by Jesus’ humble example. He’s been there, done that. By God’s grace, we can do it too.

Reprinted from Michelle's February 2010 column in Wisconsin Christian News.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great way to explain what Jesus did (God does) to an audience far removed from the culture of the Bible. Thank you for your insights.

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