Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pier Pressure

Everyday we have to wake up and face the challenges of the day. Amongst the many topics discussed in the Manturity series of Influence, the challenge to stand up to and face other men is inevitable, at least for me. I work in construction, building commercial buildings, and for the most part men are the workers. These are a unique set of men and personalities that I have to deal with on a day to day basis, it's part of earning that paycheck. If there is one thing I learned about a year ago, it's that I do not have to take on their identity. I do not have involve myself in their immature, senseless and revolving conversations or influence. I can make the choice to walk away or stay and be "part of the group". I know that I can not change these men, but I can be mature in my decisions around them.
I like to think of this as the work pier. Work piers were made to for one reason. To get the men and the material to the ship. They were not built for pleasure, they were not build to look pretty, but they were made to get the job done. They were designed for work. And like most of us, we have to walk that work pier everyday. Is it something we want to do? Probably not, but it is something most of us have to do and do the best we can.

2 Chronicles 15:7 'Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak; for your work shall be rewarded.

When I am not at work, I get to enjoy the company of good friends and work colleagues. This is a different group of men that I more less choose to be around. They are friends from Church or friends that are my age at work and men of true strength. This is also a unique set of men. We still have to be careful how our friends  influence us, but hopefully that is happening in a positive way. The conversations are generally more interesting, exciting, funny and clean. I know these men on a deeper level and is a sense, know their heart.
Proverbs 15:13 says 'A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance; but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. These are the men that you can share your high and low points with. These are the men that you put your trust into and depend on, these are men of resolution.
This is what I call the pleasure pier. Pleasure piers are made pretty much the same way the work piers are made, but they are built for comfort, enjoyment and rest. This type of pier might get built in a scenic area or might get built for fishing. Either way they are a shelter, a vacation, a getaway from the craziness of life. After a long day, it's nice to get off the work pier and enjoy some time on the pleasure pier.

Proverbs 18:24 says 'A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. 

Some of us are forced to walk the work pier everyday, but don't forget to walk the pleasure pier also. Jesus is such an amazing example of a good friend and fellow brother amongst His disciples. If we are pursuing to be like Christ everyday, than our friends, attitude and life will show it.

How do you find a balance between the work and pleasure pier?


  1. Why not both? Why not use the work pier as an opportunity to minister or witness to someone?

    I don't talk about my work life much because it's work, but I can honestly tell you from personal experience that you can have a positive impact on people you work with who may live or believe differently than you.

    While you don't want to surround yourself with people who may influence you negatively, you should use that opportunity to influence them positively.

    Why segment your life into groups of people because you're able to connect with more? Why not try connecting with people outside of your immediate circle. Jesus did it, why can't we?

    I am not putting you down and I hope it doesn't come across that way (Hard to convey over the internet), but I think overall we choose to surround ourselves with people we are comfortable with. I think it's time to we step out of our comfort zone.

    I have been able to connect and reach out to people who don't believe in God. I never made put myself on a pedastool and said "I'm holier than you" but I did tell them that I have become a better person because I believe in God. While we walk a thin line between what is comfortable and appropriate conversation with our coworkers, we should use every opportunity to witness and be a disciple of Christ.

  2. Thanks for that response. You are exactly right. For most of us, each day we have to walk both piers, but we have an opportunity to be a great influence to both sides. I suppose my point was more about being careful with how we are influenced. We can make choices as we walk down the work pier and those choices can be positive or negative. We have to remember where we are rooted daily so that we can be a positive influence when walking either one. Just as Christ did.