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Personal and Professional Issues


Issue 014

Bad night. Row with spouse. Death in the family. Debts at the bank. Problems with health. The alarm goes off like a gun, driving you out of the blocks into the rat race.

So you arrive at work hoping that busyness may even take your mind off the rest of your life. But sooner or later you become aware that you‘ve brought more baggage than your briefcase today and you‘re weighed down with all kinds of burdens. You try to concentrate but they get heavier and heavier and occasionally the personal pain screams at your professional pride and you are at war with yourself. You‘re sitting at your desk or in a meeting but your mind is miles away.

Jesus‘ cousin was John the Baptist. Good friends and close relatives, the two boys knew each other well. Word comes to Jesus one day that John has been executed. His head has been cut off and displayed on a plate. The pain sears into Jesus‘ soul. “Let‘s take a break,” he says to His friends, but a crowd follows them becoming up to 15,000 strong. They pester him and force Him to work, with no idea of his pain.

As He dug deep into His soul, Jesus found that his compassion for those people helped him in his own pain. Maybe his pain also gave him a deep sympathy for others who were struggling. He certainly, somehow, found the strength to carry on and work when he wanted to hide.

When you go to work in pain you can draw on that same compassion of Jesus. His compassion for you will strengthen you and, combined with your own pain, will help you to sympathise with others who struggle. You can be sure that there is Someone with you right now who knows how you feel. He‘s been there. You can‘t leave your personal pain at home, but you can take your personal faith to work.


Matthew 14: 12-23

12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus. 13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.  15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”  16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”  17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.  18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.  22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone

Mark 6:31

31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

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Module: 3
Daily Guide: No

Tags: comfort, compassion, empathy, feelings, messy, pain, stress

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Geoff Shattock

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