For a couple of years I worked for an awesome non-profit where I got to create a company-wide marketing, promotion and PR plan. My days were full of strategic and creative tasks including writing, design and photography. It was one of my favorite jobs. But my direct superior was focused on building his own reputation. When my initial marketing proposal was complete, he told me to put his name on it and send copies to the Executive Board. This became a daily issue. Everything I did, he put his name on and presented as his own. I confronted him about it and he was so puzzled by my issue. He was an old-school businessman. His response was, “All my secretaries have happily completed the work I assign them so I don’t understand why you are unhappy.”
Oh. He thought I was his secretary. In actuality, I was an experienced marketing & PR professional with an industry-designed degree from one of the nation’s leading universities.
In his eyes, I was a merely a young girl who could use one-of-those-computer-thingys to type.
It made me mad. Not his view of me, but the fact he was getting paid almost triple my salary and didn’t seem to do anything. He was getting the credit and the cash from my hard work. It was unjust. It was sucking the life out of me.
I talked it all through with one of my mentors. I was frustrated and depressed. I wanted to barge into the CEO’s office and… and… lose my cool… and… say stupid things. Thankfully, my mentor talked me down with Proverb 16:3.
Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established. (Prov 16:3 NKJV)
She challenged me: Is the Lord my god? Do I trust Him to be my life shaper? Am I willing to allow Him to be my defender? Or am I pushing my timeline and my agenda? Have I prayed about it all? Will I commit my works to Him… and trust that He will bring to pass the things that are on my mind?
This story has a pretty good ending. I did not talk to the CEO. I prayed about my attitude and I purposed to do my work as if I was working only for God. About a month later the CEO called me in for a meeting to announce that my supervisor left the company with very short notice. They were not planning to replace him in the short-term. They knew I had been doing the work and were happy to have me continue on my own until a long-term staffing plan could be made. No extra pay but at least I got freedom and credit. Like I said, a pretty good ending. Then, a few months later, I received a great offer and left the company. I wonder if the CEO had paid me what I was worth, if I would have stayed? I think I might have. Hmmm, my life would be so different now. Wow. I’m glad I was underpaid and took the better offer!
The reason why this story is on my mind: Today’s SOAP reading schedule has Proverbs 16 for the Old Testament reading. Ahhh Proverbs 16:3. Hello old friend.
Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. (NLT)
Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place. (The Message)
Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed. (Amp)
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Humans have thoughts. Some have a LOT of thoughts. Others have a few. But everyone has thoughts. Dreams. Plans. Frustrations. Complaints. Ideas. Thoughts.
So when do thoughts actually happen? What does it take for an idea to become reality? For a complaint to produce change? For a plan to beat the odds?
Consider the weight of this Proverb if we unpack it in reverse: Your thoughts will happen when you commit your works to the Lord.
Consider the implications of the opposite: Your thoughts will not happen.
Consider the effect on the Body of Christ when God is actively establishing the thoughts of His children. That’s world-changing.
Consider the effect when He is not establishing our thoughts. The thought of that void scares me to the core.
We need God to establish our thoughts. Proverbs 16:3 says the way to get there is by committing our works to Him.
Today I’m looking at myself:
– Do I have thoughts that I am trying to establish myself instead of trusting God? Are there things that should be taking root but aren’t?! Is it because my efforts are totally “my” efforts?
– What is the work God has put in front of me to do now? Have I committed my work to Him? Am I being faithful with today’s tasks? Am I serving and trusting Him?
Excuse me if this seems simple. There are lots of awesome wisdom verses about the Ways of God and the activities of man. They provide a spectrum of insight that is needed when trying to know our amazing and huge Yahweh. Proverbs 16:3 is just a speck in the full picture. Truly it is just one piece to the puzzle of life.
But today I’m dealing with this one piece. Holding it and letting the weight impress on my life. That I would be more and more free from ineffective ways and bound to God’s Ways.
Thinking. About my thoughts. Selah.
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Want to read through the Bible with me? Today’s readings are: Proverbs 16; 1 Corinthians 10:1-33