I had a boss one time who had enjoyed some success with the company we were working for. She had worked during the first part of her career as in-house counsel and been afforded the opportunity to handle some high-dollar, high-profile cases on behalf of the company. The profile and exposure of her cases put her in front of the company’s “C” level executives on numerous occasions.
As her career advanced, she felt restricted by the opportunities that would be afforded her without management experience. As such, she pursued and accepted management positions which were outside of the practice of law which she had been focused on. In this new environment, she was responsible for people beyond herself and her influence was as important as her competence.
When working with people, there are conflicts. In this new area of responsibility, people who had their own agenda or competing interests would get into contentious discussions with my boss. Sometimes, in the heat of the situation, the tone of the conversation could border or become personal. In those times, it was more important than ever to remain calm and restrained from an emotional response.
My boss would use a technique she shared with me one time for those times of tense and emotionally charged discussions which invited offense or reaction. She would, in the middle of the “attack” or contention, think to herself, “I’ve flown on the corporate jet and you haven’t.”
What she was doing was reminding herself of who she was when challenged by others who were questioning or attacking. The context would provide the mental and emotional buffer necessary not to take the bait and jump into an emotionally charged dispute. The restraint would facilitate clear-headed wisdom and accommodate dispute resolution.
We need context and we need to be reminded or we will take the bait. Romans 8 tells us that the Holy Spirit will testify with our spirit regarding our identity. When He tells us who we are, we are more inclined to operate as such. When we do, we’ll avoid the emotional traps of offense and self-protection and allow Him who says it to defend it, as well.
You may never fly on a corporate jet but you have a greater status symbol in the King of Kings. Jesus labels you as His but we will forget in the heat of the moments of a world that might never know for themselves. We need to be reminded. We need to remember.