Do you recall the movie Shrek that featured a speaking donkey? Well, the Bible tells us how God used a… well…. an ass, to save a man named Balaam.

One couldn’t help but think about the all people in our lives and our businesses, that we might characterise with the behaviour of an ass.

And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. – Numbers 22:20-22

Donkeys are known to be animals that are not always the easiest to control. They can refuse to move if they don’t feel like it, and getting them to do a thing can take a lot of effort. Does this sound like some of the people with whom you work?

The question is how do we know when we should be listening to them versus when they are just being stubborn? Well, let’s look closer at the events that led up to Balaam’s ass speaking.

Have you ever been too impatient to wait on God? Balaam was too impatient to wait on God. Instead of waiting to see what God would have him do, he decided to get up and go with the men. When you are impatient, expect God to put some asses in your way to slow you down.

Neither Balaam, nor his two servants saw the angel of the LORD standing against them. Only the ass saw the angel and refused to move. While negative people can be a pain and it feels as if they are kicking the tires of your ideas, God will sometimes permit the experience of negative people to make you see what you haven’t seen.

How many businesses have failed because there was nobody in the company willing to tell the owner? The number of people who “saw it coming” after such a failure is amazing! If they really did – why didn’t they sound the warning bells? Balaam’s ass spoke out… But the Bible tells us that Balaam had already smote his ass three times and he was angry with it. He was so angry that he wanted to kill the ass. It takes a great amount of courage to speak out when you know it will likely cost you your job.

When someone does speak up, but you are apprehensive of their motives, ask yourself if this person has been a faithful employee in the past? Even if they don’t always agree with you, have they been hard and submissive to your will? Or have they just been ornery, bad tempered and arduous? The answer will be very revealing.

Balaam’s ass had been a good worker. Once Balaam realised this, his eyes were opened and he saw the danger. It turns out that only Balaam was in jeopardy. His ass knew that because faithful servants look out for their master’s wellbeing.

Are you listening to your ass?