“With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.” (Proverbs 25:15, ESV)
Before beginning my day, I spent time in the Lord’s presence praying and reading his word. I felt led by the Holy Spirit to read the above quoted scripture verse. After reading it, I experienced encouragement and conviction. Encouragement flooded my soul and spirit as I recalled the ways my previous employer bestowed greater responsibility. Conviction followed shortly after the encouragement as I remembered my turbulent interactions with the same employer.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but that doesn’t negate the necessity for reflection. There were many instances where impatience ruled my words and actions with my previous boss. To make matters worse, the impatience erupted in outbursts of anger and frustration. Now, I mention my part simply to reveal how I’ve taken ownership of those past interactions. My previous boss contributed his portion, but I’m responsible to the Lord for my words and actions. Because of my impatience toward him and/or the circumstances, there was no way that I’d persuade my boss of my position.
I certainly wasn’t using a soft tongue, so it’s obvious that there wasn’t anyway in breaking through his perception of the circumstances and my response to them. My influence hung by a thread, which I kept damaging due to my lack of self-control. Instead taking a step back from the immediate circumstances to assess my heart, I plunged ahead at times to the immediate detriment of my influence. Over time, I needed to surrender my emotions, my need to defend myself, in order to trust in the Lord for his protection and guidance. What the Lord started showing me was his desire to go before me with my boss. This meant acknowledging the Lord’s sovereignty over my boss, my circumstances and most importantly, me. It also meant trusting him to show me how to navigate the circumstances.
When reflecting on the verse out of Proverbs, where do you see impatience damaging your influence with those in authority over you? In what ways are your words undercutting your ability to bring grace and truth into your sphere of influence?