Wisdom, favour and confidence

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paul-s-
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Wisdom, favour and confidence

Post by paul-s- »

Genesis 39:21-23 (NKJV)
21 But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. 23 The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority,[a] because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.
For me, one of the most important things is having wisdom, favour and confidence – especially, for me, in the office workplace. In the Bible we see that Joseph was given favour by the Lord then wisdom followed: so he was able to make the right choices that ensured success in his role. Confidence is also required in order to follow through with your decisions. The more of these attributes you have – the more successful you will be. Conversely, the less you have – the less successful you will be.

I totally agree with something that Darin has often talked about: the way that once someone has made up there mind about you – its almost impossible to convince them otherwise. I found myself, in the office, quickly being categorised, ranked and pigeon-holed. Based on factors such as personality and work performance, people quickly decided how much they would respect, trust and reward me. This can lead to all sorts of unhealthy coping mechanisms arising, such as people-pleasing, judgmentalism and jealousy. In my case, I was often ignored, mocked and passed-over for promotion. I found myself desperately wanting wisdom, favour and confidence – but just couldn't change who I was or how people viewed me.

There seemed to be some people in the workplace who were like VIPs. They were well liked, trusted and treated with respect. They seemed to be good at their jobs and made good decisions, quickly, and had good personalities. I wanted to be like these people, so I naturally strove to be brilliant at my job. I was into Word of Faith at the time, so this work performance was high on my list.

There were also some people who didn't seem all that good at their job: they didn't have much knowledge about the work. However, they were good at delegating and expressing themselves; they knew who to ask and what to ask. These people were like Teflon: nothing stuck to them. They were liked and trusted, they were blameless, they were rewarded – it really annoyed me. But these people show you the value of having a good personality. The I.C. seems to undervalue personality, often deeming things like good works and keeping rules as more important.

Things have improved significantly over the years, especially the last five years or so. I’d say this definitely coincides with listening to the Freebelievers Into the Wild podcasts and doing The Work of Byron Katie. Yet I still find myself bothered by this. I think a combination of wisdom, favour and confidence in the workplace, as well as making money outside of work, through good investments, would be wonderful. The problem is...I’m not sure how to go about it.
eagle77
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Re: Wisdom, favour and confidence

Post by eagle77 »

Unfortunately, I can relate to where you are coming from. Wherever I worked, there was always some people who knew how to manipulate other people into giving them promotions or special treatment, without doing any real work. The harder they kissed up, the more perks they received. Very frustrating.

All my life people have underestimated me and my abilities. I’m not the most articulate person, never have been no matter how hard I try. One of my college professors flat out told me that people will always underestimate me because of the way I talk. She was very right. I know you do not have that problem – you are an exquisite writer. I was a college graduate with a 4.0 the entire time – yet people still perceive me as not being very smart. Ultimately, I never really had the opportunity to do the things I really wanted to do in life.

It sounds like things have improved for you. It is extremely difficult to change people’s minds once you have been typecast – however, it can happen. I did have a few rare times were I was vindicated – if you can call it that, and people did realize my capabilities. But in your case, which is typical in most office environments, those who brown-nose the hardest get the prize. It is so unfair, but it’s true. I decided if that was how I had to get ahead, they could forget it. And I must say that once people sensed that I felt that way, they seemed to start having greater respect for me. They somehow knew I was done seeking their approval.

At the end of the day, you should be proud that you have given your best, and that you have not sold yourself out. You have your integrity and although people may have not expressed it to you, I think it’s a safe bet that there are those in your work place who respect you for that reason.

Now I’m judged unfairly by those in the institutional church system, who condemn me for not participating in their worldly religious system. People love to elevate themselves at the expense of others. The more man-made rules they participate in, the more spiritual they feel. They judge others by man’s standards – not God’s. And you are judge unfairly by the world in your job. It is the same thing – we are judge by the things men value. I really don't have any real advice as to how to reach your goals, but I think is important that we do not define ourselves by how others perceive us. But believe me, I know it is so much easier said than done.
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Re: Wisdom, favour and confidence

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I can relate to what you’re saying Eagle.

In my workplace, years ago, some of the guys I worked with were drinking buddies with a senior manager. They seemed to get promoted with ease – no doubt with the help of this manager. I’ll admit though that they were good at their job and had good personalities. But a work colleague friend of mine, who is very good at his job, struggled to get promoted, because he wasn’t a friend of this same senior manager. This really aggravated my friend, who used to go on about it all the time. He eventually got to were he wanted to be – but not without a lot of unnecessary effort.

I’ve also seen people who don’t have much ability. But when they really needed to impress the right people – they seem to do just what’s required to ascend the career ladder. It as if they were doing the bare minimum to maintain their role. These people just made it all look so easy as well.

In my own life, I was very frustrated with my career progress for years (and still am to an extent). It seemed that I had good technical abilities (I’m a Software Engineer) and achieved some good things. But I just seemed to be rather inconsistent. I would work really well for a while, then go and do something really stupid - usually when I really needed to get something right and my managers were watching what I was doing. That would also knock my confidence as well as the trust of my colleagues. Things are a lot better now and people now have a better opinion of me. But I feel the die has been cast, to a great extent, and I still haven’t been promoted.

It upset me because I could clearly see what I believed was divine favour in operation. The Bible actually says that God puts people in positions of authority. I wanted God to give me favour with my managers and wisdom to consistently make good decisions. But despite my efforts – nothing happened.

Like you, I felt like I was trapped between two worlds, with man-made standards: the workplace and the institutional church. The contrast between the two worlds was staggering. The workplace seemed full of people who had everything I wanted: intelligence, charisma, confidence, ability and success. Whilst the church world I encountered was full of neurotics who tried to meet man-made religious standards, based on a book which, to be honest, reads like a fairytale: supporting the existence of talking snakes and donkeys. Like me, these people were gullible: paying a tenth of their income to the church with the belief, instilled by charismatic preachers such as Creflo Dollar, that God was going to make them rich.

I still believe in Jesus and the Gospel – but that charismatic Christian world all seems so bizarre to me now. I felt like I wanted to find some sort of balance between the two worlds. I wanted to somehow use faith to become more like those people in the workplace whom I admired and who seemed to be so blessed – even though they didn’t believe in Jesus and go to church, like I did. Nowadays I’m more realistic. I want to look to Jesus to empower me in daily life, but instead of the extravagant aspirations I once had – I just want to be good, effective and fulfilled in the everyday life I experience in this moment. I know that I can’t avoid challenges – but I believe I can do something about my ability to face them.
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Re: Wisdom, favour and confidence

Post by eagle77 »

I know all too well – I’ve seen that animal in operation many a times. In truth, some just know how to play the part and know how to “work” other people. I’m okay if someone is actually good with people, do a good job and get ahead. But the people who know how to manipulate others for their benefit at the expense of others – I have a problem with. And it’s sad to say, it’s usually these type of people who get ahead. Although, if you wait long enough, some do get found out occasionally.

I know that you and I have both been made privy to the Charismatic teachings and I cannot think of any other man-made teachings birthed out of Christianity that have caused so much harm. Really, it can cripple someone’s mind to the point they are psychological impaired. When you feel like you can’t speak certain words to the point it restricts the flow of normal conversation, than something is wrong. I have seen this has reached the point of pure superstition. I developed my own neurosis, and it took me a long time to break free from the all bondage.

Unscrupulous pastors like you mentioned have misled their followers that you can pay to get God to act. Whether it’s for healing, money, whatever. People idolize these men – that’s why they are taken advantage off. They reach the point where they can’t think for themselves, and they are happy to let others do the thinking for them. They rather be told do this and that, and God will be happy. They convince themselves it’s true - IMO Charismatics consider themselves as the “spiritually elite.” They consider other believers as being “spiritually ignorant.” I’ve been there – although I never quite believed all the crap they fed me.

You hit the nail on the head - the key is how you handle the challenges. I know I said it earlier, but it was true for me - once, I gave up trying to seek others approval, it seem more people started respecting me. I don’t know if it was primal instinct or what, but somehow they sensed it. I really reached the point I just didn’t care anymore, I knew that I was capable. Somehow, they began to realize that I no longer needed their validation.

I think there’s nothing wrong looking to Jesus for strength to empower you. I think where the problem might have been and you seem to realize this now, is that the unrealistic expectations you developed from Charismatic days. I developed my own. I think that is the lure with Charismatic teachings, or Hagin’s Word of Faith. It lured me in for sure, and it has taken time for me to let go of a lot of this stuff.

As far as the mistakes you’ve made at work, everyone makes mistakes. I’m sure others in your office have made similar mistakes, including your managers. Don’t judge yourself so harshly about these – I think the problem is more likely have to do with the brown-noses who have cottoned up to your management, than your actual capabilities.
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Re: Wisdom, favour and confidence

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paul-s- wrote:Nowadays I’m more realistic. I want to look to Jesus to empower me in daily life, but instead of the extravagant aspirations I once had – I just want to be good, effective and fulfilled in the everyday life I experience in this moment. I know that I can’t avoid challenges – but I believe I can do something about my ability to face them.
Well said, Paul. I think sometimes a change in perspective helps. Life is not always fair and the good don’t always win but, if we can be at peace with ourselves, then the other stuff doesn’t throw us off as much.
eagle77 wrote: You hit the nail on the head - the key is how you handle the challenges. I know I said it earlier, but it was true for me - once, I gave up trying to seek others approval, it seem more people started respecting me. I don’t know if it was primal instinct or what, but somehow they sensed it. I really reached the point I just didn’t care anymore, I knew that I was capable. Somehow, they began to realize that I no longer needed their validation.
So true, Eagle. When we’re striving to look good in the eyes of others, we tend to go overboard and say and do dumb things trying to get noticed. However, when we get to the place that what others think of us doesn’t matter, then we start to relax and the real us can come out. I really think that people will then be drawn to the peace they see in us.
"Smell the aroma of your union with Christ" - Andrew Farley
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