What I’m Struggling With At Work

changeI’ve suggested here in a prior post the possibility that competence is a characteristic of righteousness.

If that is true, there can be no doubt that Jesus uses our work as a means to sanctification.

The fastest way to identify your weaknesses is to get a job. If you do a good job you will find more and more responsibility flowing your way.

But at some point you will start bumping up against your limitations.

I’ve always been a detail-oriented person, and until recently it served me well. I’ve always felt the need to master the details of a situation before giving advice, choosing a position or as a trial attorney, going to trial.

The benefit has been that I’ve almost always been better prepared than my opponent in the courtroom. The downside is that it almost always takes me longer to prepare for trial. Until recently, that was not a problem. I just worked harder and longer than others, and I enjoyed a lot of success.

I didn’t really see my detail-oriented approach as a potential weaknesses until I began getting cases that demanded more time than anyone could devote to them with a detailed approach. I tried working faster, but that was of limited value. I tried delegating more to my staff, but I could only delegate so much.

So, I ended up doing what I do when I come to the end of my own limited resources: I prayed. And as I prayed, the following thought came to me as clear as if someone sitting in my room had spoken it to me: “You don’t have to know everything, to know anything.”

That was it! I had always thought I needed to know all the facts before I could draw a conclusion, take action, try a case. Now, I needed to approach things from the opposite side, from the big picture to the details. I needed to see the important issues first and that would inform me which details I needed to master. I would still master the details, but only the ones that mattered.

If you are hard-wired as a big picture bottom line thinker, what I’ve just described to you will seem obvious. If you are a detail-oriented deductive thinker like me, you might find what I’ve just described as insightful. Whichever way you are hardwired though, it is likely your job will expose the limitations of your preference as a means to solving all the problems you face in your job. And when you bump up against your own limitations you will will be faced with an opportunity.

That is where I am, trying to learn to see the big picture more quickly and clearly. It’s not easy; I’ve been defaulting to details my entire life. But I’m getting better, and as I do, I’m becoming more like Him of whom it was said, “Behold, He does all things well.”  (Mark 7:37). GS