Sometimes you just have to do things that you weren’t called to do. As I continue my look at Deborah in the Book of Judges (chapters 4 and 5), the next thing that I notice about her is that she was never supposed to be in the battle against Sisera herself.
In today’s workplace, you may also find yourself in situations where you were never really meant to be, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t do them. Let’s take a closer look at the example here with Deborah.
While Deborah was acting as the Judge over Israel, she summoned Barak. She pointed out to him that he was called by God to go into this battle against Sisera. You see, it wasn’t her battle to go and fight, but it was an assignment that was given to Barak to do.
However, when Deborah “reminded” Barak that he was to go lead an army into battle, his response was one of hesitation. Even after a direct command from God, he still put conditions on it.
He started negotiating with Deborah making the condition of his going was that she had to go with him. Apparently, he didn’t feel confident enough in his own leadership skills to lead an army of 10,000 by himself, and felt that he needed the credibility and authority of Deborah to go with him.
We can talk for a long time about Barak’s lack of confidence, but I’d like to focus for a moment on how Deborah handled the situation. In a nutshell, she went.
Barak’s lack of confidence had cost him much of the glory of being able to take care of Sisera himself, but ultimately the job got done. The important part is that Deborah went into battle with Barak even though it wasn’t her calling to bear.
As the “leader” over the Israelites, she did whatever she had to do in order to make sure that the job got done. I believe this demonstrates a selflessness, and strong desire to make things happen.
I can imagine the frustration that Deborah must have felt in doing a job that she really shouldn’t have to be doing. But this gets down to understanding the higher calling or purpose that was there.
She had a choice herself when Barak chickened out (sort of). She could have denied him her presence and watched the effort fail for lack of confidence and direction from a weak leader, or she could have sucked it up and gone lending the effort the benefit of her leadership.
She made the right choice, and fought the good fight. She didn’t have to, but she did. Saving the nation was much more important to her maintaining her “job”.
In the workplace today we sometimes are faced with challenges and tasks that we shouldn’t have to do. We often come across things that are “not our job”. Technically, no, you shouldn’t have to do some of those things.
But when you recognize the higher importance of certain tasks, and suck it up and do it anyway, then you have the opportunity to rise above everything and show how much you’re willing to make the organization succeed. That type of selfless dedication is what most organizations would love to see in all of their people.
Questions to consider:
- What is the “higher purpose” of the organization that you are in? (I also heard a very wise person share recently that the purpose of business is NOT to make money, but to provide a solution or help to people. Money is merely a “measure” of how well you are doing just that.)
- What tasks are being dropped around you that you see as being crucial to the achievement of your organization’s “higher purpose”?
- How can you help to get those things accomplished?
- More than anything else, what’s your attitude when you’re fighting the good fight?
See more from the management by God series!