Have you ever had a bad boss? Someone who didn’t communicate clearly what they wanted, someone who had unreasonable expectations, no real concern for you as a person, who played favorites among the staff, someone who sat in the corner office and acted like a dictator? Most people have probably had a bad boss at one time or another who has been difficult to work for. However, having a bad boss doesn’t give us the right to have a bad attitude about our boss or our job.
While searching for stewardship in the bible, we find many examples of good and bad bosses…not to mention Jesus himself, who was the ultimate servant leader. Good bosses serve their employees and help them to be successful. They are good communicators with clearly stated expectations, and they have an ability to hold underperformers accountable for their actions. They pay a fair wage and pay promptly. They care about their employees as people first, and employees second. Unfortunately, these positive traits are sometimes hard to find in our current work environment.
So, if you are stuck with a bad boss, how should you respond? One of the keys is to recognize that you are actually working for the Lord. Colossians 3:23-24 tells us, “Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ.” When we open our eyes to see that God gave us our talents, skills and abilities, we can take heart in knowing that we actually work for Christ, not our boss–and that attitude adjustment changes everything.
Learning how to deal with a difficult situation in a Godly manner develops our character in a way that is unique. We often learn to submit to the Lord by first learning to submit to people, and obeying the Lord in this way is always a blessing. By having a Godly attitude and doing your work each day as though doing it for the Lord, you may even be able to influence a change in your boss’ attitude.
When you’re stuck in the daily grind, it’s easy to take your job for granted and even complain about it. In fact, it’s hard not to complain when everyone around you is doing it, but joining the water cooler gossip session does not solve your problem and does nothing to shine the light of Christ into your workplace.
The last few years have been tough on everybody in the workforce. So many people have lost their jobs and run into dead ends trying to get another one. People who have kept their jobs are putting in more and more long hours because companies have shrunk their workforce. So these days, if you are lucky enough to be employed, it’s important to remember just who provided that job, and to be grateful that you have a way to earn a living.
Stay focused on the fact that God is your real boss, and always keep in mind that you’re working for the Lord. If Jesus were sitting in that corner office, instead of your boss, how would you act?