I wrote a post the other day about collaboration. I spoke to the issue of collaborating with the community of Christ.
Today I want to go in the other direction. I want to talk about the other side of collaboration.
You and I will probably have to collaborate with those that we don’t agree with. What I mean by that is that we will have to collaborate with those who don’t think the same way we do spiritually. We will have to work with those who give absolutely no thought to our Christian faith.
What do we do?
I say we turn to the Bible and look at some guys who had to deal with that.
There was Joseph who had to collaborate with a pagan king, who helped save a pagan nation and because of that saved Israel as well.
Nehemiah served a pagan king as a cupbearer. That seems like a trivial job until you realize that the king was putting his life into the cupbearers hands every day.
Daniel reached the upper echelon of a pagan nation and faced death because of his faith.
What did these three have in common? They worked in a secular world in secular jobs that were potentially hostile to their faith and they did their jobs so well that they continued to be promoted.
They affected people’s lives for good.
Not just Godly people.
We could call that common grace.
God may have you in that position of collaborating with someone who holds completely different values.
When you do a great job, they benefit.
You will grow through working with them.
God may use you to speak to them.
That is the other side of collaboration.
How do you handle the other side of collaboration? Do you grumble about it? Or do you look at it as an opportunity from the Lord?
Imagine for a minute that you have been engaged to someone. You are waiting for your betrothal period to end. You are probably busy preparing the home you will bring your bride to. That’s when you get the news.
Your bride to be is pregnant. Imagine how you feel. The devastation. Anger? Disappointment?
You have a decision to make. The Law says that you have every right to stone her. After all, she committed adultery. That’s how you end up pregnant if you have been intimate someone before your marriage.
Joseph had that right. Joseph would have been justified to have gathered a crowd, pulled Mary out to the edge of town and ended her life. No one would have looked down on him. Some would have patted him on the back.
Instead, he made a decision to send her away. He felt some sort of compassion for Mary. Not only did he not want to end her life, he didn’t want to destroy her life.
Then God spoke to him through an angel in a dream. The angel told him to stick with Mary and raise the child.
Imagine the looks he got. “There’s Joseph. His wife became pregnant before they married. He married her anyway. Jesus isn’t his boy.” Or “Joseph got Mary pregnant before they got married.”
Joseph had all sorts of rights during the nine months Mary was pregnant. Instead, Joseph did the right thing.
Christmas gives us the choice between our rights and doing the right thing, doesn’t it?
Have you ever given up your rights for the right thing?