by C.S. Depew
I couldn’t believe it, he wasn’t listening to me! This was my job that was on the line, not his. I had been accused by the company of being negligent, violating rules and causing an accident. Now I was sitting in an internal investigation with the company officials on one side of the table looking across at my union representative and me on the other. The union rep had gone over everything with me that morning; telling me how things would proceed and what to expect. He had been through this many times before. He said they would interpret the rules to fit their version of the events. Then he asked me questions about the accident, and asked me how I wanted to defend myself. I told him I wanted to be completely truthful, I had nothing to hide. I suggested several up front arguments to defend my actions. I knew what had happened, (out of everyone at this investigation, I was the one who was there.) I did everything I could to keep the accident from happening. He shrugged his shoulders, playing devil’s advocate and told how they would pick my arguments apart.
I was nervous when the investigation started, but now I sat there getting more and more frustrated because the union rep was not using a single argument that I suggested. He was arguing that the whole investigation was unfair, and was trying to catch the company officials in a lie. The company was also going over every statement and recounting every action that day trying to catch me in a lie. He and the company officials were arguing back and forth slinging accusations while both ignored the fact that the statement of events showed that I had not broken the rules that I was being accused of violating.
The final result of the investigation was a suspension, which as it turns out was exactly what the company and the union knew was going to happen. The whole investigation was little more than a formality. I sat at home for the next two weeks feeling very unsettled. I didn’t feel like I had been treated fairly by the company or represented fairly by the union. Neither side had listened to me or had much faith in my ability. It wasn’t until I was reading through the Sermon on the Mount, that I realized I had no right to throw stones.
Matthew 5:16 says, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven. I have been a Christian since I was seven years old. As a Christian, I am God’s representative to the world. I work for Him and on occasion have been called upon to defend Him. I have the Bible to tell me the rules to follow and the guidelines with which to live my life. All I really have to do is listen to Him, have faith in His ability and let my light shine. Matthew 5:44 says, But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you. Through prayer and the Holy Spirit, He has told me what to say or how to react in a given situation; not just for my own good, but for His glory. But how many times in the last thirty two years, did I listen? How often did I have faith in His ability, instead of counting on my own? I got caught up in my opinion of the world’s view and their arguments instead of concentrating on my only true job – representing God. When someone attacked my beliefs, did I heed Matthew 7:1; ”Judge not, that ye be not judged”? Or did I take it personally and attack theirs. Instead of relying on Matthew 7:12a, Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; when mud was slung, I slung it back. Most importantly, when someone in the world was curious and asking questions about God, how many times did I choose that moment to be quiet? Every day of that two week suspension was a glowing reminder of one thing; I have been a poor representative. This is not a job that is at stake, or the loss of some income. God wants everyone to seek the truth and find eternal salvation. We are to represent God before the world, with the love and conviction that Jesus Christ will represent us before God. Thankfully, with Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I know how that investigation will end.