WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 18, 2021
TOPIC: USED AND DUMPED
BY T. O. BANSO
“There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares around it. Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man” (Ecclesiastes 9:14-15 New King James Version).
Someone told me about an organization he belongs to where everyone, especially those in leadership, is conversant with the “used and dumped” syndrome. It appears to be the unwritten philosophy guiding the organization. The Chef Executive draws an identified person close to himself, celebrates the person above the rest, makes him the star attraction, and, sometimes, compromises the leadership structure by giving him assignments that place him above his superiors.
But nobody expects this to last because it doesn’t last. They even joke among themselves and refer to the new person being “used” as the person reigning! After a while, the leader will find one reason and dump the person, rarely on the issue of incompetence, and dump the person. People are used and abandoned or sidelined, which has affected the morale of those in the organization.
They feel that no matter how efficient or productive they are, the leader will still use and dump them. He will make them feel that he has so much confidence in them and values their contribution. But after some time, he will abandon them, making them feel like fools for sacrificing their time and other resources for the goal of the organization.
The side effect of this “use and dump” practice is that it weakens people’s commitment and loyalty to the organization. They know that very soon, the leader will dump them; they will soon become irrelevant, not because of any serious offence or incompetence.
One of the keys to success in life is the ability to get along with people. No matter how small an organization is, a leader should be able to manage human resources and other resources. He must be able to harness the gifts and talents of the people for the good of the organization and their fulfilment.
A good leader should not be too focused on realizing organizational goals that he becomes insensitive to the feelings of the people in the organization, especially his subordinates. As a leader, don’t use and dump people, not because they are incompetent or other character issues that can hamper their work or you are led by the Holy Spirit. Nobody is perfect, including yourself.
There will always be relational issues that are not serious enough to defeat organizational goals. When will you get the perfect person you’re looking for? Probably the reason you keep using and dumping people is that you are looking for what you cannot get. Don’t have a reputation for using and dumping people. I am not talking about having to release people at their instance or yours because of incompetence, dishonesty, disloyalty, low productivity, relocation, illness, old age, the leading of the Holy Spirit, among other things.
Another negative side of using and dumping people is failing to recognize and reward their contribution. This is demotivating for others currently serving or “being used”, so to speak. Don’t let it be a culture in your organization that you use and dump people for no justifiable reason. Don’t let the old staff tell the new staff that they’ve been used and dumped and the same will happen to them. Create a culture of confidence that their labour will be appreciated and rewarded. Let them feel secure that their contribution won’t be in vain.
A story in the Bible that I always remember when I reflect on this “use and dump” practice is the wise poor man in Ecclesiastes 9. “There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares around it. Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man” (Ecclesiastes 9:14-15 New King James Version).
How could the people of this city be so wicked like this? They used the wise man and dumped him. His wisdom delivered them from the invading king but they abandoned the man thereafter. They did nothing to recognize or compensate him. The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes continues, “Then I said, ‘Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war; But one sinner destroys much good’” (verses 16-18 New King James Version).
Why should they despise the wise man because he was poor? Yes, wealth is good and necessary, but why didn’t the wealthy people in that city deliver them? Do you think that if the city was faced with a similar problem next time the wise man would be willing to help? Or do you think another poor person who had a solution to the city’s problem would be encouraged to help since it was money the people of the city respected?
Beware of using and dumping people. The people you dump today, you may need another time. Appreciate people for their contribution. As much as possible, reward them. Don’t let them feel irrelevant after they have done their bit. 2 Timothy 2:6 says the hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. The laborer is worthy of his wages (Matthew 10:10b; Luke 10:7b; 1Timothy 5:18b). This doesn’t have to be money in every organization. But recognition, appreciation, or commendation is very important. It gives people a sense of belonging. Don’t use and dump people.
Compare this wise man’s story with that of Joseph in Egypt in Genesis 41. By interpreting the king’s dreams he solved the problem troubling him. In addition, he proffered a solution to the problem of famine that would arise in the land of Egypt. After listening to Joseph, Pharaoh didn’t use and dump him although Joseph had advised him to select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt to implement his proposal. He rewarded him by appointing him his second-in-command to implement the solution he had proposed for food storage.
Joseph would have been satisfied if the king had just released him from prison as a reward. But a very appreciative king said, “And Pharaoh said to his servants, ‘Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?’ Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.’ And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt’” (Genesis 41:38-41 New King James Version).
Pharaoh could have found used and dumped him. After all, he was a prisoner and an alien. But he didn’t do that. What did the magicians and the wise men of Egypt do when he was troubled by the dreams and couldn’t understand the meaning? He rewarded Joseph whom the Lord had used to solve the problem. Don’t use and dump people.
Similarly, in Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar didn’t use and dump Daniel. After he had told the king his dream and the interpretation, he rewarded him with an appointment (verse 48). At David’s request, he also gave Daniel’s friends appointments (verse 49). Nebuchadnezzar could have used and dumped Daniel because he was an exile but he didn’t. He appreciated him.
Also, in Daniel 5, Belshazzar didn’t behave like the people in that small city in Ecclesiastes 9. He followed the footsteps of his father or grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar. He rewarded Daniel for interpreting the writing on the wall even when Daniel had told him before that he should keep his gift or give it to someone else but he would tell him the meaning of the writing (verses 17, 29). Don’t use and dump people.
In Esther 6, when King Ahasuerus was reminded from the book of records how Mordecai had saved his life by reporting an assassination plot against him, he asked what reward or recognition was given to him (verses 1-3). When he was told nothing was done, he compensated him with an honour (verses 4-11). He remained relevant in the kingdom.
Don’t use and dump people. Reward diligence, loyalty, competence, performance, excellence, achievements. In 2 Samuel 17:27-29, Barzillai, a wealthy man and David’s friend, had demonstrated his loyalty to him and shown him kindness after David had fled Jerusalem because of Absalom’s rebellion. Barzillai Came with beds and basins and pots, grain and meal, and all sorts of dry foods, and honey and butter and sheep and milk-cheeses, for David and his people. Barzillai and the two persons who brought these things said the people were hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.
On David’s way back to Jerusalem after the rebellion had been defeated, he rewarded Barzillai’s kindness. He didn’t forget what he did (2 Samuel 19:33-39). Even before David died, he told Solomon, after making him king, to be kind to the sons of Barzillai because of his kindness to him. “But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, for so they came to me when I fled from Absalom your brother” (1 Kings 2:7 New King James Version). David didn’t forget Barzillai’s kindness to him in his time of need.
Don’t use and dump people. Remember their kindness or contribution to your life or organization. Jonathan, Saul’s son, was David’s covenant friend. He was loyal to him till he died, supporting David at the risk of his life. David never forgot the covenant they both made. He didn’t use and dump him. He mourned Saul and Jonathan at their death (2 Samuel 1:19-27).
In 2 Samuel 9:1, he asked if there was anyone remaining in the house of Saul that he might show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake. He repeated this in verse 3, asking Ziba, one of Saul’s servants. When Ziba told him about Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s lame son, he showed him kindness (verses 6-13).
Reward loyalty, kindness, resourcefulness, competence, honesty, etc. Don’t let people feel you have used and dumped them. that does not mean that they must remain with you physically. Appreciate them.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank you for the people you have blessed me with or brought into my life. Give me the wisdom to manage the human resources you have blessed me with. Help me to harness people’s gifts, abilities, and talents and not use and dump them such that it demotivates or destroys them. I receive the grace to get along with people and the grace to build people and not to destroy them. Father, help me to be an effective leader in your kingdom and in society.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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