Anchors Aweigh

Nov 13, 2021


The problem with being anchored in unforgiveness is our true productivity, mental wellbeing, and physical health suffer. Set yourself free!

Yes, even at work, people say and do regrettable things. Others are wounded and embittered, but ultimately, all is forgiven and completely forgotten, right? Well, we can usually count on wounded and embittered! When unforgiveness festers in the workplace, colleagues struggle to collaborate, fail to help one another, and make poor decisions. Some co-workers even plan trips to the breakroom, just to avoid contact. These heavy burdens tug at our tender hearts and tether our minds to the past much like a boat is chained to an anchor at sea.

The problem with being anchored in unforgiveness is our true productivity, mental wellbeing, and physical health suffer. Some fear that by forgiving a team member, they are obligated to immediately trust that team member again. Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church, makes an important distinction, “Forgiveness is not the restoration of trust.” I agree, and further suggest that regaining trust is a process. In his two-part series titled The Prayer of Release, Warren offers 4 practical tests for identifying any lingering unforgiveness.

Using Warren’s insights, let’s test your commitment to unforgiveness: 

  1. Blame Test: Warren wonders who are you most likely to blame for your problems? We are blaming others when we think, “If he/she would do this, then I would do that.” In the workplace, we can create accountability rather than blame-- eliminating tension and establishing new expectations.
  2. Rehearsal Test: Who comes to mind when you think about the greatest hurt in your professional life? We tend to wear a path in our minds by renumerating past offenses. In the workplace, we can review lessons learned-- focusing on a way forward rather than rehashing previous mistakes.
  3. Scoreboard Test: If you’ve ever said, “They did it again!” or “I will forgive, but I won’t forget!” or “Oh, yeah? Well you did that!” then Warren says you’re tracking guilt and blame. In the workplace, we can seek out win-win scenarios-- allowing successful outcomes rather than keeping score.
  4. Reminder Test: Warren suggests you can identify unforgiveness when you react negatively toward a person because they remind you of someone else who did you wrong. In the workplace, we can make room for second impressions-- learn more about your colleague rather than making assumptions.

You may have pinpointed one or more teammates who need your forgiveness (not for their sake, but for yours). It’s likely they don’t know they hurt you or disrespected you. Even if they do know and may have been intentional about their transgression, Jesus invites us to forgive 490 times (Matthew 18:21, 22). I guess you could track this on your whiteboard or in a spreadsheet. His implication, of course, is that we forgive INFINITELY. Who needs accountability? What are your lessons learned? How can you establish win-win scenarios? Or grant a second chance? May you be free from the weight of unforgiveness. Anchors aweigh, my dear leader, anchors aweigh!

[Love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:5

Sources: Rick Warren: The Prayer of Release - Part 1Part 2, and Part 3; Matthew 18:21, 22; 1 Corinthians 13:5.

by Michelle Sugerman • Leading Synergies, LLC • © All Rights Reserved

Visit a Synergy Group and discuss the transformative Leadership Development and
Spiritual Growth presented in the Leader's Field Guide. Synergy Group Members
can access this week's Synergy Group Agenda in My Gym Bag.


Light-Hearted Wisdom for Serious Business


50% Complete