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GEOFFSHATTOCKweekly

Taken For Granted

Apr
22
2002

Issue 022

Do you ever feel like you are taken for granted at work? You
work hard and conscientiously – you are reliable and
dependable – and yet you don’t feel valued. You have a good track
record and although you are paid a fair salary it would be nice
to be encouraged and thanked a little more often. The result
in you is that you begin to resent the regime. There is a low level
hostility which bubbles under the surface in your life. It
certainly robs you of some job satisfaction and pleasure that
you would otherwise get from your work. Sometimes you see
less deserving employees apparently getting more of what they
want than you do and there is a tinge of jealousy in your heart.
You carry around a sense of injustice at your lot and can
become suspicious of other people’s actions.

Sometimes you wonder whether it is all worth it and whether
your boss, your company and even your God takes you
somewhat for granted.

It is a risky position to be in. There is a real danger that
something will trigger an outburst from you.

It’s exactly the position in which the older son in Jesus’ story
found himself. His fellow Managing Director and younger
brother has squandered half of the family business after
insulting the Chairman (his father) by taking early settlement on
his shares. Now on his return the Chairman, on company
expenses, throws him a party and the older son is furious. It’s
a workplace situation and the angry son is greatly stressed.
You may not like to identify with this older brother but if you
feel taken for granted and are living with the resentment I
describe you may also like to see how Jesus describes the
father’s strategy.

First he invites him to forgive. Instead of describing his
colleague as “this son ofmine,” the Father says, “this brother of
yours”. Second he invites him to remember – all things are his
and he is rich. Then he invites him to celebrate. To come into
the party – to turn his criticism into celebration and to change
from complaint to thanksgiving. At no point does the father
minimise the folly of the younger son’s actions. But he does
invite the older son to a better place.

Jesus deliberately leaves this story unfinished. We don’t know
whether the older son went in or not.

I don’t know what you will make of this WORKTALKweekly but I do
know that the invitations of the Father to a better (work) place
of forgiveness, remembering your true wealth and celebration
still stand – it’s up to you.

BIBLE SECTION

Luke 15: 11- 31

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.  13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.  21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’  22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’  28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.

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Series: -
Module: 1
Season: -
Daily Guide: No

Tags: anger, forgiveness, offence, resentment, stress

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Geoff Shattock

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