Workplace Devotionals

April 5, 2010

Taking the fall…of man

Filed under: Uncategorized — ejwcpa @ 5:33 pm
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You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8

Paul talks about how in his society, a man would scarcely give his life for a righteous or even good man, people have little interest in giving up their life.  Perhaps a man would give up his life for his own child, but in few other circumstances.  Jesus not only gave up his life, but gave up his life for the wicked, the sinners.  While man would scarcely give up his life for the best of man, Jesus meanwhile gave up his life for the worst of man.  We would not even take the fall for even the most minute, trivial thing, in fact, when anything small bad happens in our lives, it is the American way to immediately sue everyone, nothing can be our fault, of course, so we’ll find someone else to fault.  But Jesus, blameless, without fault, took the fall of man, took the sin of the world and died on the cross for us – something against all comprehension.  What an amazing sacrifice that Jesus made.

Remembering this sacrifice in our daily lives is central to being Christian.  Some comparisons came to mind as I heard this passage read.  It reminded me of what life was like in a CPA firm.  There’s a popular blog called “Stuff Accountants Like,” maybe you’ve read some of it maybe not.  It might only be funny (or sad) if you’ve worked in a large CPA firm.  It takes a sarcastic and humorous look at the little things that are popular in a CPA firm.  Number nine on this list is “Throwing People Under the Bus.”  It reads like this:

For accountants, getting thrown under the bus ranks somewhere on the scale between daily and weekly. If an accountant is not currently being thrown under the bus, you can rest assured that: (1) they will soon be under the bus or (2) they are actively throwing other people under a bus. This is easy for you to remember since there are no exceptions.

Throwing someone under the bus means to blame somebody else and have them take the fall. It is important to note that this does not mean the person being blamed actually did anything wrong. Also, people generally throw the people working for them under the bus, and not the other way around (though it does happen).

Many problems that accountants have (work is incomplete, budget is catastrophically blown, hatred towards fellow officemates, etc.) are addressed by throwing people under the bus. It is important to note here that this doesn’t mean the problem is solved. Some managers have a reputation for throwing people under the bus, which they’ve earned for good reason.

What can you take away from this lesson about accountants? When working with accountants, you will get thrown under the bus for no good reason and probably often. So if you can’t avoid working with accountants, you should make sure that you are the person in-charge, and that way you can opt to throw or not throw your team under the bus.”

I read this blog entry right about the time that I was currently being thrown under the bus, so it really rang home.  I would imagine that this scenario is probably prevalent in most people’s workplaces, though probably not to the extent that it takes place in a CPA firm.  In our workplaces, and in our country, taking responsibility has become so foreign, that making others take the fall, regardless of blame, is now the norm, and this blog entry is a good illustration of that norm.

We can demonstrate the behavior that Paul talks about in this passage, not necessarily by dying, but by first taking responsibility for our actions, and taking the fall for our own mistakes, rather than passing the blame to others.  This can be a hard thing to do, considering that taking the fall can often mean missing a promotion or hurting our reputation.  But we have faith in knowing that our rewards do not come from men but come from God.  Jesus has already taken the ultimate fall for us.  When we are in the kingdom, God’s measure of success is not the same as man’s measure of success.  Jesus points this out in the beatitudes, saying that the attitudes and types of people that are often shunned or looked down upon in the world are praised by God.

Taking the fall and the responsibility for mistakes may often result in short term delays in worldly success.  But Paul implores us in Philippians 2:3-4 to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Our mission on earth, as Christians may be different than the goals of many of those around us, and our success is measured differently than our workplaces may dictate.  But this does not mean that we will not achieve reward.  We have the greatest father in the universe, and father who loves us and wants to give us good things (Matthew 7:9-12).  Be patient, run the good race, and while worldly success may not come to you in the way you’d expect, success will come in God’s kingdom.

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