Good Afternoon Everyone!
Sorry for my hiatus last week. I was in beautiful Sandusky, Ohio at a conference and didn't open my computer. The good part is that the message I'm going to deliver today came to me while I was at the conference.
I was chatting with another manager and asking him how life was going and just making small talk when I learned a great deal about strength and character. This friend of mine taught me a valuable lesson "sometimes its better to think like a Christian and consider the repercussions of ones actions rather than following all of the rules". Now I'm hoping I have your attention. If I don't read on. This manager told me a story about two of their employees who were recently involved in a very sensitive situation with one of his vendors. The employees were good friends with the vendor and without going into detail were involved in a situation that would have defined all aspects of sexual harassment. One of the employees later approached the manager and made him aware of the situation and said they weren't sure what to do, but definitely felt uncomfortable. She later came to him and said all was okay and she was over it. Now I'm not sure if any of you know Human Resources, but I do and I know that the textbook way to handle this is to immediately report the action, follow through to ensure that the vendor is aware of the issue, and to interview all involved.
My friend surprised me when I asked him how he handled it. He said "sometimes we are given the opportunity to examine our choices and they aren't always as black and white as they seem." He then went on to tell me the history of the vendor and the employees and said that if he had reported it, he had the potential to destroy all of their lives in one action. You see there was more to the story than could be seen on the surface and the interview process alone would have made the incident public enough that at a minimum they all would have faced grave hardship. He then told me that he decided to be human and not make it a public issue.
Now I have to tell you I'm not sure I could have been so strong. After all, I'm Mr. Black and White, Mr. Rule Follower. I have such a propensity to do what I'm instructed to do professionally that I don't know if I could have completely considered how those employees and the vendor would have been impacted. My friend taught me a valuable lesson in his short story about a stressful moment in his professional career. Granted, none of you know this person, but I intentionally did not tell you their name because in the Human Resources world they made a huge mistake... actually a potentially career ending mistake in my opinion. One that honestly had me thinking that he was somewhat of a fool. The converse to that thought is that he also showed depth of character I don't know if I possess. And, what he called being "human" in many ways I would call being "Christian".
Have you ever held someone's life in your hand let alone three with a choice you were faced with? What would you do? What would God ask us to do? This is a great example of compassion, character, and Godly Love. You may think this guy is a fool and like I said, I'm not sure I could argue much with you. But, I will say that what I saw was a man that wasn't willing to hurt others just to follow the rules. I saw someone that would put others first and sacrifice it all to protect them. Isn't that exactly what our Savior did? I guess if you look hard enough at every day situations you find Christ like examples shining through.
Now for some scripture that I think relates: Matthew 25:40 "... The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me"
I hope all of you take some time to think about the person I call "the manager". Pray for this person and those with whom they interact. Also, look into yourself and ponder some of the questions above. Not sure if I could have reached the same conclusion. Of course, I believe God was leading this man ... Just as I have faith he will lead me if ever I'm faced with such a choice.
Love in Christ,