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Are You a Buzzard or a Bee?
by Byron Ware

    Many times we get bogged down with our routine lives and we believe we have no choices. A friend of mine was sharing facts with her supervisor in a meeting. The supervisor did not like the facts and begin to take her wrath out on this person in front of her peers. Instead of accepting the message and asking for the messenger and the other employees to work as a team in overcoming a problem, she attacked the messenger. The supervisor failed to realize that the person reporting the facts was not the issue. She was just relaying information. This was a classic case of “shooting the messenger.” The supervisor picked the closest target and began to shoot her derision. The supervisor definitely left an impression on everyone, though maybe not the one intended. She made the wrong choice and damaged a valued co-worker and ruined a good opportunity to build a sense of teamwork to solve problems.

    My friend was obviously quite upset at being the target of this irate supervisor. She felt she had few, if any choices. She had just signed a year-long contract. Being a person of honor, she saw no way out. She felt she was stuck in a bad situation with an abusive supervisor. She was so upset that she had trouble sleeping and dreaded going back to the job.

    Was she really powerless to choose?

    We talked about her possible choices. We prayed about them as well. Another friend prayed that the supervisor would be penitent. She tried to reframe the incident and take on a different perspective.

Bees and buzzards always find what they are seeking.
    But what about us in our families? What do we do when we are in the position of the supervisor? Do we find what is bad and “shoot the messenger?” Do we nitpick the person who has offended us in front of others? And what do we do when we are in the position of the person attacked unfairly? Do we see ourselves with no choices? Do we fire back and begin a war of words and feelings?

    In God’s Little Devotional Book for Couples there is the story of the buzzards and the bees:

Buzzards and bees have a major difference in their feeding habits. Buzzards fly overhead searching for dead animals. When they spy a decaying carcass, they swoop down to gorge themselves on it, stripping it to the bare bones. (A comparison to the supervisor might be appropriate here. -BW) Honeybees, by comparison, only look for sweet nectar. They are very discriminating as they search through the flowers in the garden.

Buzzards produce nothing in their feeding, except fear in those who behold them at work. Honeybees produce honeycombs, dripping with honey, for health and palate benefits to others.

Just as the bees and buzzards always find what they are seeking, so a spouse can generally find what he or she is looking for. If you focus on your partner’s faults and mistakes, you’ll find them. Your relationship will become one to be avoided, not cherished. On the other hand, if you seek out the goodness in your spouse, you can find that, too! And you may be surprised at how sweet your relationship can become.

    Thankfully, we are not buzzards or bees. We are not driven by blindly by instinct. We choose what we find in those around us. When bad news comes, we can choose how we react to both the message and the messenger. When someone is unkind to us, we choose how we will react.

    The supervisor had a choice to react out of anger or optimistically confront a challenge with the team. We know her choice. But almost everyday, we have that same choice with those in our family. So what will you choose when it comes to your spouse and family? Will it be buzzard or bee?

    Remember this:

[LOVE] is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs...
but rejoices with the truth.
1 Corinthians 13:5,6 NIV

Resources: God’s Little Devotional Book for Couples by Honor Books, Inc. A great resource to share together!


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