Leave the Corners, Don’t Cut Them

In my day job, I am the newest salesperson in a highly competitive environment. In addition to being new, I am also the only woman on this large, successful team.

In my first few weeks at my new job, I spent much time trying to work as hard and as fast as the men, copying their routines and behaviors.

I quickly found myself emulating successful traits I saw in each of my competitors. The work ethic of this one, the professionalism of that one. I noticed one coworker who earned trust when he truly listened to his customer without interrupting. Another demonstrated world-class control in an exceedingly difficult situation.

One thing they all have in common is a fiercely competitive, aggressive nature that drives them to work hard until the job is done, and they are number one on the team.

The problem is that only one person can be number one.

Iron sharpens iron.

Even though I am a woman, I am not that much different than my coworkers. But as I pulled back my hair and tucked in my shirt in front of the mirror one morning, I listened to a recording of the book of Ruth.

The book of Ruth tells the story of a widow and her widowed mother-in-law who are forced to glean the corners of the grain fields to survive. In those days, farmers would allow the poor to harvest the corners of their fields. They would leave them unharvested for that purpose.

God presented this law to the Israelites generations before in Leviticus 23:22. “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.”

I never considered this law or practice. It just seemed good to leave a bit of your own harvest for the poor and needy. Especially if you have plenty.

Fast forward to 2021, and I’m not so sure I want to leave the corners of my own harvest for anyone. I mean, I’m comfortable today, but tomorrow is another story, and everything is expensive, and my kids won’t stop eating or growing.

And at work, honestly, I’m working so hard to climb up the ladder of success, I’m not so keen on giving a portion of that success away to someone, no matter how badly they need it.

I put on my lip gloss and check my reflection as the final verses of Ruth are read, and I realize how deeply I am immersed in this competitive culture. It is not always easy to leave the corners in my own fields.  If those unharvested corners represent the opportunities in my own life, how difficult will it be for me to leave them for someone else to profit from?

God has placed these four corners in my heart, but as usual, He has set His own little twist in my spirit to drive His point home.

As I pray over His words, he places in my heart this thought: I want you to leave the corners, but I also don’t want you to cut them.

You see, the Bible is full of people who cut corners. Searching for shortcuts isn’t a new problem for humans. People have been trying to find the easy way out since the beginning of time. So not only does God want me to be generous and leave some of my hard work on the ground for someone else to pick up, but He also wants me to be sure and follow all of the rules while I’m doing it.

Follow all the rules, even if it means I might lose the opportunity to reach #1.

Because what does it really matter if I am #1 on the sales team if I’m failing to rank on God’s team?

It’s an exercise in faith to leave so much of our own work behind without question while finding ourselves falling behind for refusing to sacrifice our character. I know because I’m doing it. In a million little ways that I’ll never be able to fully explain to anyone but God.

But, God.

Somehow, He’s still giving me enough that when I spread it all out, it reaches all the way out to those four corners. And then some.

Julie Christian

Julie Christian has four children, ages 12,13, 21, and 31. She is married to the man of her dreams, Mike Christian, and she writes from her home in southwest Georgia. Julie has completed two novels, Sugar Machine, and Her Father’s Ocean. She is currently writing her third novel, Come @s U R. Her work will be published in the upcoming devotional compilation, Abba’s Heart (Crossriver Media), and her story is featured in a chapter of Strength of a Woman (Crews, Ascender Books). She is president of online Word Weavers chapter, Page 40. She is an ambassador and featured blogger at ScreenStrong Families Managing Media and a contributor to InspireAFire.com. She has been featured on podcasts such as Other Peoples Shoes, and Look out for Joy. Her work has been featured in The Epoch Times. You can learn more about her and her work at www.juliechristian.com.

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