One of the survival techniques in the corporate sales world is the concept of “sandbagging.” To sandbag in sales is to withhold reporting transactions until it is most beneficial for the individual or company.
For instance, in my job I have a quota of five insurance sales that I have to meet each week. Should I sell more than five, I get a small bonus for each additional client, but often times agents will hold back Deal # 6, 7, 8 until the following week so that they have a leg up on that week’s quota. It’s often a fear-driven tactic in which sales people keep from placing all their cards on the table because of the threat that they won’t find enough opportunities the following week.
Allow me to introduce you to Mr. Sandbagger himself…me. So much of my income is dependent upon hitting that minimum of five sales per week that when I surpass it, I sandbag away the other sales because I’m so fearful for what the next week may or may not bring. Sandbagging is not against the rules and, quite frankly, it just seems like the smart thing to do—always hedge your bets because you may not be prepared for what’s coming tomorrow.
I realized very recently how much my sandbagging is a reflection of my trust in the Lord. Where else do I sandbag in life, waiting for the perfect situation before I show my cards? Immediately my thoughts went to church. My local church has been extremely instrumental in giving God a conduit to work in my life, yet in terms of time and talents I have given so little back.
“Well, I’m really looking forward to serving/volunteering but I need to fix [insert sin/bad habit/insecurity here] first.”
Too often, Christians subconsciously attribute the power to the vessel instead of the Creator. We have this fixation with pastors and leaders because we see the way that the Lord uses them, and suddenly we think, “Wow. I could never do that. I have too many things wrong with me.”
You’re absolutely right! You could never do that…alone. That’s the point and that’s exactly what I have been missing until very recently.
I often feel so guilt-ridden because I’m tempted in some way or I have a tendency to still fall short in another area. I have completely forgotten that God didn’t call anyone to be perfect before He could use him or her. He simply asks us to be willing and available, teachable and humble.
Humility is really what it boils down to—or in my case, pride. I have been so convinced that anything I accomplish will be through the power of my talents and my gifts that I have to get everything just right in my life before I bless the world with them. This is the attitude that finds me sandbagging away the time and energy that God so deeply wants to utilize through me for his purpose and glory.
So often we as Christians hear that He wants our money. That’s true, He does. But He wants everything else too. How many people has He yet to reach because of my spiritual sandbagging?
Allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart. What are you holding back in the hopes that you can make it perfect before you give God control?
*Photo credit: The National Guard