Has anyone ever stolen your idea? Maybe you woke up one day and checked social media, only to find that one of your “friends” has launched a campaign confusingly similar your own. Or perhaps you’ve been sitting in a meeting, and suddenly one of your colleagues spouts off an idea that you just shared with her last week. Only they don’t credit you for it, they pass it off as their own. Or worse – say “we” came up with the idea, knowing darn well they had nothing to do with it!
Well, that’s the kind of week I’ve had. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. But sometimes, it feels a little more like theft. Especially when we’ve worked hard to put our ideas into action.
So what should we do? Do we rise up and give those idea snatcher’s the business, or do we relax, knowing that God has it all under control? I had to really think about it, because for a moment, little me really wanted to get them told.
I know it may seem small and petty, but truth is, I was hurt. Because it stings a bit when people we should be able to trust try to take what’s ours, especially when we’re willing to share. When it happened a few days ago just thinking about it ratcheted up my blood pressure. But then a quiet voice on the inside spoke up and said, but is it really yours?
Yes!! It’s mine. It came from my mind. I trademarked it. I work every day to grow it. It. is. mine. Oh okay, said the voice, cause I thought it was His. I thought you were His, too.
Ugh! I hate that small voice sometimes. You know the one that won’t let us act out without tickling our spirit with the truth? That one! Just when you’re about to handle things, it pipes up with a different perspective, and throws your shenanigans all of course. Even what feels like justified behavior, can take a different turn.
As I sat quietly thinking about what to do next, the small voice started speaking again.
- Everything belongs to God.
- The idea you “own” He deposited in your spirit.
- He has plans for what you are to do with it, and no one is going to derail them.
- So why get upset over the big fish in the little pond? You are headed to the ocean.
Well, crap! How can I stay upset when you put it like that?
This whole business of being a steward – which is what God calls us to do – can be so confusing. How are we supposed to know what to do when somebody starts messing with the stuff God placed in our care? Should I beat others back with a stick when they get out of line, or should I offer a little grace, knowing God will be real clear when I need to do more?
I gotta be honest, I’m not sure there is a one-size fits all answer, except this – Let love lead.
In this case, the situation wasn’t serious enough for me to “waste a mad”. That’s what I call it when I get upset about things that don’t really matter, and in the grand scheme of things don’t stop no show. So instead of making a big stink, I’m going to love myself enough to take note, and then govern myself accordingly – which in this case means adjusting how I see and interact with the people involved. Dr. Angelou said it best, When someone shows you who they really are believe them; the first time. Yes M’am. I sure am.
Now, I’m certain this won’t be the answer every time. There will likely be a point when I have to address things head on, and I will. Because everything is not meant to be overlooked and God has not called us to complacency or a spirit of fear.
But when I do I’m praying to do so in decency and in order, letting God direct my path, and ensuring that the loving way He deals with me is how I manage my relationships with others. If it’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that getting angry always causes us to give our good energy to negative outcomes. There is never a win in madness.
So, I’m moving on and if, no when, you’re faced with this situation I hope you do too – in whatever way God is leading. Because the truth is, as long as He’s doing good things through us, there’s always going to be some nincompoop waiting in the wings to try to copy, steal and destroy.
But we cannot let them suck up our time and throw us off our game! Remember this – An imitation will never be as valuable as the original. You, are the masterpiece!
I admit, I’m still a work in progress in this area, so I’d love to hear some of your expertise on how you manage folks who literally try and snatch the words right out of your mouth. Have you been successful in addressing the situation in love? Drop me a line and let me know! I can’t wait to learn from you.
Sending Big Hugs and Love ❤