Think twice about burning that bridge.

Picture this. The scene opens on an office workspace complete with cubicles, computers, desks and an army of employees trying to make it to 5pm. The camera then pans to the managers office where a heated discussion is taking place between employee and boss, arms waving wildly in the air, voices raised, clearly it’s a tense situation. The door opens and the employee storms out of the office yelling a number of insults directed right at their boss for everyone to hear, finishing out with a clear and concise “I quit!”.

I know I’ve seen a number of scenes exactly like this one at one time or another in a movie or on television. The mean, unreasonable and incompetent boss finally gets what’s coming to him and the employee finally get’s his “I quit” moment. I remember telling myself “someday I’ll have my one sweet I quit moment where I go out in a blaze of glory, the room erupts in cheers and the rest of the group walks out with me in protest and the “evil boss” collapses in defeat. End scene.

I’m pretty sure that almost every person has had the “I Quit” fantasy run through their mind at one time or another. We’ve all had bad teachers and bad leaders at one point or another in our lives and been a part of groups that, even though they may have had “good intentions”, we ended up feeling like we’d been left on the side of the road and what we did and who we were just didn’t matter to them. It’s the reality of working in a fallen world with fallen people who are just as broken and messed up as we are.

I’d like to offer a few thoughts on why the storming out of the office in a glorious, and maybe not-so “righteous” fury (whether in person or online) may not be such a good idea.

1.     When I leave in such an outrageous fashion in an attempt to “stick it to the man”, I risk isolating myself from friendships and relationships that were built and developed at my work/school/social group/club/ etc. I’m also very likely…no, guaranteed to completely destroy any future interactions, engagement or professional relationship with the organization/individual/group/church and possibly anyone that is, friends with, followers of, or connected, even in just a small way to the group/church/company that I just went bazerk on. Basically, it’s like throwing a Molotov cocktail into your social network. Congratulations and good luck with re-building your burned and completely destroyed bridges! There have been times when I absolutely wanted to “let ‘em have it, whether face-to-face or via social media and if I had chosen to do that, it would have been an absolutely terrible personal and professional move to have made and one that I would most likely have regretted and felt the repercussions of for years after.

2.     When I leave my place of employment or group of friends in an outrageous fashion, contrary to what I might think is going on, that I’m making a stand or that I’m turning the tables on those who have wronged me, I actually am doing real and serious damage to my reputation. It shows people who at one point may have believed in me and believed in my character, that they were actually wrong about me and my character. I have effectively cut my legs out from underneath of me and have ruined any chance that people would actually hear me or anything that I had to say. The reality is that leaving in a “blaze of glory” tends to do more damage personally and professionally more often than not and it actually pushes people away from you and your “cause”.

3.     When I leave in an outrageous way it actually dishonors God and ends up damaging my witness to others.

1 Peter 2:12 “Be Careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.

God doesn’t call us to be pushovers but He does call to live honorably by our behavior towards others

“Philippians 2:14-15 “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky”

You cannot please everyone but I really want it to be said of me by those who were “for me” or “against me” that I loved well, that I built others up instead of tearing them down and treated people with the same grace and kindness with which Christ treated me. Let’s think twice about burning that bridge.