“It Takes You That Long?” (Luke 5:4-6)

My dermatopathology associate was fuming about another dermatologist with whom he had a recent conversation. 

“He was asking me how many cases did I sign out in a day and how long did it take? I already knew where this conversation was headed.”

“What did you say?”

“I told him that I usually sign out about 150 cases a day and it depends upon the types of cases. Some cases like a skin tag take just a few seconds while a complex case like a melanoma may take a half hour or more. After I said that, he scoffed and said, ‘Really? It takes you that long? Wow, I read out my cases in a half hour!’ “

I looked at my colleague and shook my head. We both knew this dermatologist read about 10 cases a day, a mere fraction of what either of us do. In addition, we were consultants, reviewing cases of far greater complexity than what is usually seen by a community dermatologist. It was a ludicrous comparison. There are few situations that annoy me as much as when someone else thinks they can do your job better than you can. However, it is not only other physicians. This attitude has been inflicted upon me by hospital administrators, office managers, medical assistants and nearly everyone involved in health care. They do not know the nuances of our practice in spite of them informing us they do. What motivates them to do this? Insecurity about their own abilities? Jealousy? Arrogance? Ignorance? All of the above? The Bible gives us an interesting encounter that echoes this same sentiment.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”
“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! Luke 5:4-6 (NLT)

I can imagine the snarky tone that Peter had when he responded to Jesus’ request. What was going through his head? Oh sure Jesus, like you’re an expert in fishing! You’re a carpenter and you’re telling me how to do my job? I guess you think my job is easy compared to yours? Ok fine, I’ll do as you say and I’ll show everyone that you have no idea what you are talking about! To Peter’s amazement, when he obeyed Jesus, his nets were overflowing with fish. 

When a colleague informs me that they can do my job better than I can, what is my response? It would have been the same as Peter had toward Jesus. I am just as petty. Thanks be to God that when He gives unsolicited advice, it is not to shame but to uplift us. I am so grateful to serve my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who knows me better than I know myself. 


Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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