As I am doing devotions today, I am aware that I need to call a customer imminently. He called yesterday afternoon when I was out and I feel pressured to call him back immediately this morning.

Wanting to focus on devotions and NOT on the work that must begin soon, I prayed “Lord, free me from the expectations of others.” My immediate thought was…I need to be freed from the expectations I put on myself first. In reality, it’s unlikely that the customer I need to call in a few minutes is really sitting by his phone waiting for the business day to start and watching to see if I call him at the stroke of 8am. (Well, 8:15 really, because I consider it a little rude to call before someone has time to get their work-head together, which I figure takes the first 15 minutes of the day!)

In the strive for excellence…notice I said excellence, not perfection – perfection is not attainable, only God is perfect; excellence is attainable – it doesn’t mean without error, rather with minimal error and a plan for correcting and making recompense for those errors. In the strive for excellence, I can often put more pressure on myself than others do. Perhaps you are like me. How do you deal with it?

 I find that I must continually do several things:

1) Evaluate the source of my striving for excellence. If it comes from a desire to impress or please other people, my focus is probably wrong. My job (both at my place of employment and in my personal life) is to please the Lord. Sometimes that means NOT pleasing other people. If I find that I have been operating from wrong motivations, I must turn to God in repentance, asking Him to forgive me for caring more about what people think than what He thinks.

2) Remind myself that God is in control of my business, not me. Sometimes I fall into the trap of believing that I’m responsible for the success of my business. The truth is that I do lots of the work, but God is the source of my ability to get work, my ability to accomplish it, and the favor shown to me by my customers. Again, repentance is often required here when I realize that I have again fallen for the enemy’s trap.

3) Consider my life and whether it is in balance (or at least some semblence of balance). I know that when my life is in balance, there will always be work that doesn’t get done. There will always be one more request that a customer makes or one more accounting task to complete before it’s time to say “I’ve worked enough today. Now it’s time for family.” If that customer call came in because I was pursuing other things the Lord has called me to, sometimes the most appropriate thing to do is thank God for the life He’s given me, ask for grace with the customer and call him back at the earliest opportunity.

That’s my remedy for dealing with the pressure I put on myself. If you have other suggestions, let me know. We can all learn from each other. As for me, I gotta go call my customer!

Comments are closed.

© copyright 2009-2013, Data Designs Publishing and Sandra J. Hovatter