No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Luke 16:13.
I understood the above passage on an intellectual level, dispassionately, objectively, yet never personally, until yesterday.
My temp position requires a staggering amount of training, and after three months I do not feel any more competent than I did after three weeks in my last position. The result, I am still making mistakes like a new-hire. To a Perfectionist/Over Achiever this is frustrating, humbling and sometimes humiliating.
Yesterday, I made an error, important, but not grievous. With constant interruptions from the phones, I was distracted, lost focus and confused two gentlemen's names. Both names were similar: same first name and close last name. As a consequence, I sent an important, (thank goodness not a confidential) package to the wrong address.
My supervisors were kind about the error, especially after I owned up to being responsible and explained how it occurred. However for a perfectionist, seeing the disappointment in management's eyes was enough to send me on a spiral of self-chastisement. In answer, God sent me another dream.
I was in a large compound filled with people from many social and economic levels. The general crowd was engaged in rather disgusting behavior. Desiring some privacy and a place to escape from the ethical onslaught, I found a small room with a locked door. Ignoring the lock, people came in and violated what I felt was my private space. They not only invaded, they continued their abhorrent behavior. I was angry and in admonishing them let slip a cuss phrase using the Lord's name. Regardless of their horrendous behavior, I knew my error would be severely punished.
When the general manager approached, I told him, "Stop right there. I never cuss or use the Lord's name. I slipped and this is why."
I then listed the atrocities going on around me and how I resented the disrespectful behavior toward me. He apologized, and offered to send one of the resident pastors to speak to the group. He joked they would either stop their abhorrent behavior or clear the room. The dream ended there.
After my readings this morning I understand the symbolism. I ranked my error as serious as taking the Lord's name in vain, in essence putting their approval above, or on the same level as God's, making them my second master. That is a far greater error.
Putting God first, pleasing only Him, takes away the burden of relying on my accomplishments to affirm my worth. God knows my heart. He knows my intent is not to be slovenly in my tasks. Being imperfect, I will make mistakes, but these do not define who I am.
I am a child of God, and I refuse to have two masters.