As I listened to Cherry describe the minute to minute ins and outs of a group of teenagers interacting day to day with each other, discovering their own identities, and fighting for their space and role, I found myself right back at work dealing with the same problems and the symptoms, although the ages of the people is decades different. Everyone appears to be infected! Everyone is falling in the same trap. Age, education, status, and experience offer no defense.
As I grew up, I fought for my space and role with the people I walked with. I took my role as the oldest child very seriously (too much so I now believe) and I frequently thought I knew more than anyone around me (rarely if at all in retrospect). Additionally, I wanted to win every game, every decision at all cost. On reflection, each move was a effort to seek confirmation and affirmation of my identity and self worth.
At home, I work to affirm and confirm Carli and Whitney’s value with God and me. The same process plays itself out at work. Each person has a reason they are special and everyone stands with equal value and rights. As strongly as I believe this and as frequently as I work to convey this view to individuals, in a moment of pressure or uncertainty it is as if I have never spoken. Carli and Whitney look to their friends to confirm personal worth and identity. Colleagues see confirmation of the position, status, and power to shape and size their self-esteem. Is anybody listening?
As soon as I asked the question, I heard God’s echo. Do I see myself as God sees me?
Paul struggled with the same question. His advice is for you and I as well.
“So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves to each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” (Romans 12.6)