February 5, 2021 • Life for Leaders
Scripture – Psalm 55:20-22 (NRSV)
My companion laid hands on a friend
and violated a covenant with me
with speech smoother than butter,
but with a heart set on war;
with words that were softer than oil,
but in fact were drawn swords.
Cast your burden on the LORD,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.
When someone at work opposes us, that’s difficult. When that someone is a friend, or an apparent friend, at any rate, it’s more than difficult. It’s deeply painful. When this happens, we are free to pour out our hearts to God, to tell him everything. Jesus knows what it’s like to be betrayed by a friend. He will understand. And, by grace, he will sustain us in our struggle.
O Lord, my heart is heavy and I am deeply troubled. It’s one thing when someone at work opposes me. But it’s something altogether more horrible when that person is a friend. I think of the times when we enjoyed each other’s company and I grieve the loss of such friendship.
I feel hurt, Lord, but more than hurt. I feel betrayed by someone whose benign speech hid a cancerous attack. O Lord, this feels terrible.
Thank you, dear Lord, for understanding how I feel. Jesus, you knew what it was like to feel betrayal. One of our closest followers turned you over to be crucified. Another denied you publicly and repeatedly. Others abandoned you in your moment of greatest pain. So you get it, Lord.
What can I do now other than lay all of this upon you? Here is my burden, my sadness, my anger. Here I am before you, open and vulnerable. I’m holding nothing back. Help me, Lord. Sustain me. Heal me. Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
When a friend hurts you, lay that heavy weight upon the Lord and his grace.
For Further Reflection
Read all of Psalm 55, seeing what else God might say to you about your work through this psalm.
You might also read Matthew 26:47-56 and 69-75.
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Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Best of Daily Reflections: Toss Your Burden on the Lord!
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.