I have the privilege of leading a young men’s leadership development group on Thursday mornings. Recently one guy, Sam, shared an amazing story about “giving up” in the workplace. Since this is guest post week, I asked him to write this post. You will be encouraged and amazed.
I was burned out and ready for a change. Getting recruited by a manager I greatly respected and the prospect of moving into a new position where I could gain some high demand skills had given me new hope. I couldn’t wait to share the news with my team mate and friend Tim. I would never have predicted what happened next.
My friend had also been recruited by the same manager and as we discussed the news that had until then remained private, it became apparent we were both interviewing for the same position.
I was desperate to find relief from the unrelenting demands of my current job, but I knew that Tim’s situation was no different. More than any professional association or bond of friendship we shared, we had something even deeper in common – our faith as brothers in Christ.
On one hand I really wanted that job, but on the other I knew that Tim did too – and in my opinion he was also a stronger candidate. Furthermore, his wife was dealing with cancer and their family was under enormous stress.
Pride and entitlement were whispering in my ear, but I knew I was in a situation that called for something higher. I remember feeling so conflicted as I sorted out what to do, but thankfully there were some deep scriptural truths embedded in my heart that provided clarity.
1) To truly love someone, you must consider when to put their needs ahead of yours
(John 13:35). My friend’s need was greater than my own, competing for that job would have added stress to his life and our relationship.
2) Sometimes giving is better than getting – In Acts 20:35 Christ teaches “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” – this truth can’t be realized without testing it.
3) When you have the chance to do good – do it! In fact, not doing the right thing when you know you should can be considered sin (James 4:17).
4) Sharing the spotlight with others allows them to exercise their God-given potential – when someone is better than you at something, show humility and let them shine! (Philippians 2:3)
5) God knew my needs – even if I didn’t pursue the job, I wanted to trust that my needs would still be met (Philippians 4:19).
In light of these truths, I wrote a letter to the hiring manager to endorse my friend as the best man for the job and excused myself from consideration.
But the story doesn’t end there …
It turned out that there were TWO open positions and we both ended up getting hired. Our careers grew as did our friendship. And I’m pretty sure that manager will never forget the day I almost turned him down but he hired me anyway.
If something like this happened to you, how do you think you’d respond?