This episode narrated by CDR Joe Chiaravallotti, USN (Ret.)
Most leaders don’t care to have their decisions challenged.
Our Scripture reading comes from Job 38:1-3, quoting from the New King James Version:
“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: ‘Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’”
From my experience, most leaders don’t care to have their decisions challenged. This is particularly true when the pace is fast and compliance must be immediate. In reference to this Job passage a leader observed, “There are some things you are not supposed to understand.” This was certainly the case with Job. For all of Job’s righteousness, one might question whether Job deserved to suffer and, if he did, should he at least have been given insight as to why.
As we strive to live out our faith in our profession, the study of Job prompts a few thoughts to consider: Can we approach God with high emotions when circumstances demand justice? In a vacuum of discernment of how God is working, can we question the fairness of what He allows? What should our response be to trials we do not understand? Job’s response was to question God. One might conclude that Job got wrapped up in matters too great for him. As leaders, we often consider the big picture, the larger plan.
Oftentimes, the big picture does not get translated down through the working level. In a similar way, a far greater reality than our own exists in the heavenly economy. As God cross examined Job (read Job chapters 38-41), revealing Job’s lack of knowledge of His creation and of His divine power, Job’s only response was: “Behold I am insignificant; what can I reply to you? I lay my hand on my mouth” (see Job 40:4). Job finally got it.
In the workplace we are not always privy to the larger plan. We may be in the dark, not knowing how or whether we have a role to play. It can also be that way in God’s greater scheme. What we do know is that God is Lord and ruler over all. His ways are unsearchable; they defy humanity’s thoughts and wisdom.
So should we question God’s authority? Regardless of how righteous the question might seem, of how strongly I might feel about an injustice, or of how merciful I think God should be, I would be wise to consider the Holy Scriptures and to pattern my questions and concerns after Jesus’ response while here on earth.
Points to Ponder
Over the next week, here are 3 points to ponder during your personal time of reflection or with a small group or mentor.
- First, Pray. When Jesus was anxious, He prayed (see Mark 14:34).
- Second, Desire God’s will (see Mark 14:36).
- Third, Rest confidently in Him (see John 11:41b-42).
I had a friend who, in response to matters he did not understand or was reluctant to accept, would say: “I am content to leave this in the hands of a sovereign God.” What a great response! As we walk and lead by faith, fulfilling God’s mission, may we entrust our ways and life’s circumstances to Him.
It’s time for a quick monthly evaluation. Click here to download the monthly reflection sheet. Use the reflection sheet to help gauge your habit of integrating faith and profession, and to help get you into the habit of keeping a written record of those times when the Holy Spirit speaks to you.