When You Love Your Customer but not Your Co-Worker

The ball is dropped on an important email chain. The cups are left in the sink along with an old lunch in the fridge, unmarked with an appropriate name, leaving co-workers to guess who owns the spaghetti that has grown a layer of mold.

The anger that brews feels justified as you mentally review their list of offenses.

When a customer messes up, we’re quick to understand. When a co-worker messes something up, somehow we often apply a different level of grace. As if it’s ours to extend or withhold.

In the book, The Bait of Satan, John Bevere says this about the danger of being offended, “Trials in this life will expose what is in your heart—whether the offense is toward God or others. Tests either make you bitter toward God and your peers or stronger. If you pass the test, your roots will shoot down deeper, stabilizing you and your future. If you fail, you become offended, which can lead to defilement with bitterness.”

What’s worse is that when we’re hurt by a co-worker, we often turn to another one to talk it through. But when we surround ourselves with people who tell us what we want to hear and don’t truthfully give the correction we need, we end up fanning the flame of the original offense and create a negative environment in our relationships.

In a business where we speak about forgiveness regularly, let us not be the people that miss the small opportunities that impact our workplace drastically. The Samaritan stopped for the man on the side of the road with no repayment or thank you required.

What we do with the offenses committed against us will shape who we are and the environment that follows us. Let’s stop the blame game in it’s tracks, by realizing that the person who offended us is not the problem.

“Every time you try to make someone pay, they are the ones who get to be in charge of your life. When you try to make someone pay, they dominate your thoughts, they take control of your energy, and seize your heart and mind. When you hold forgiveness ransom until someone pays you back and earns your love – you’re the one whose quality of life gets poorer and poorer. Jesus did not make even one of us pay. Not one of us could pay what we owe – so how can we expect anyone else to pay what they owe? Jesus hung on that cross and said: “It is finished.” – Ann Voskamp

Jackie Barnes
Business Development Specialist
Worship Leader Association


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