Servants, be subject to your masters with fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.1 Peter 2:18
By Peter Karavas
"My employer is not fair nor understanding." "He doesnt pay me what Im worth." "Im tired of office politics." "My boss expects too much overtime." "Im stuck in a rut." Ever had any of these thoug hts? Just what should be our consecrated attitude toward our boss and work? Can we wholeheartedly serve a boss who doesnt appreciate us? How far can we allow our boss to push the limits of our honesty? Where do we draw the line between our time a nd energy commitments towards work versus towards our consecration and family?
I Try To Love You Boss, But Its Not Easy.
What does God teach should be our attitude towards our boss? We suggest that many of the scriptures referring to master and servant relationships can and do apply.
"Obey my boss just as I would Christ?! Not just to win his favor but from my heart?"
"So am I trapped forever working for a horrible boss?"
"But Ive prayed about it, and God hasnt showed me a clear sign to leave. Maybe its his will that I stay."
I Am Always Honest.
Is it naive to think that in todays work environment I can be totally honest?
What do I do when the boss says, "If anyone calls, tell them Im out of the office today." when I know full well hes really in all day?
Should I say no when the boss tells me to "adjust the numbers so that the proforma shows a 12% rate of return." when I know the project will really only yield a 5% return at best? The scriptures are straightforward in their testimony on t his topic.
David wrote two psalms, one each in response to these two experiences. In Psa. 52, David expresses his anguish over his deception which resulted in the death of Ahimilech the High Priest. David says: Your tongue devises destruction, Like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit. Behold the man who would not make God his refuge, But trusted in the abundance of his riches, And was strong in his evil desire (Psa. 52:2, 7).
In Psa. 34, David repents from his deception of King Achish, which was based on fear, not trusting in the Lords protection. I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit (V. 4, 13).
If David acknowledged the error of deceit even though in danger of death, can we practice a lower standard when all that is at risk is our jobs.
Letting our boss know our feelings up front will discourage him from attempting to compromise our high moral standards. T his may cause some short term discomfort, but in the long run most bosses will respect and trust us more for it.
"I think people see `target written on my forehead." "Other employees work against me for their own advantage and to make me look bad in the eyes of the boss."
Honestly defending ourself to the boss against false accusations may at times be both wise and appropriate. Paul defended himself to the Roman Centurion (Acts 22:25) and to Govern or Felix (Acts 24) from the Jews who were accusing him.
Whether we may chose to respond or not, we do well not to be filled with deep worry and anxious care, remembering that all is in the Lords hands. None can harm us without His permission.
For I have heard the slander of many, Terror is on every side; While they took counsel together against me, They schemed to take away my life. But as for me, I trust in Thee, O Lord, I say, `Thou art my God. My times are in Thy hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.Psalm 31:13-15 NASV
Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure.Psalm 1 01:5 NASV
This poor man cried and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.Psalm 34:6, 7 NASV Its not unusual that the L ords people would be spoken against, especially out of fear and jealousy. In our efforts to give our employer the very best we can, as unto the Lord, other employees may view us as competition and consequently as a threat to their own advancement w ithin the company. But we are not to retaliate.
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. . .Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says t he Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.Romans. 12:17, 19-21
And keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame1 Peter 3:16
Those who speak evil of us falsely will eventually be found out and suffer the consequences of their actions.
A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will perish.Proverbs 19:9
As long as we continue to work honestly and hard, most bosses will usually sooner or later see through the deceit of others and put their trust in a faithful worker.
Good Attitude? High Integrity? No Problem!... Well?
"When I work hard I feel like Im just spinning my wheels. My boss wont reward me. It wont get me anywhere."
Stealing anything from our employerfrom pencils to timebrings shame, rather than a witness, to the name of Christ.
As ambassadors for Christ we must exercise the utmost integrity and the highest practice of Christian principles at work. Can we pass the test of Daniel?
Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him.Daniel 6:4 NASV
Looking at employment from the employees point of view is interesting. But what about the employers point of view?
"Who can blame me for getting so angry at such a bad employee?"
Compensation should be fair and prompt. We shouldnt make our employees feel like were doing them a favor by giving them a paycheck. They have worked hard for their wages, and if we dont think so perhaps we should consider replacing an employee. But before we do, lets ask ourselves, "Am I accurately assessing the scope of my employees responsibilities, his skills and the effort hes putting forth? Does it reflect badly on my performance as a manager? For the same wages could I acquire another employee who would be much better?"
Encouragement can go a long way with an employee. He needs to know that were interested in him, that weve noticed and appreciated his successes and that were not unreasonable or unfair in our approach to his failures.
A wise employer will not surround himself with lazy employees. They will be the death of his business. Lazy employees tend to be very unproductive and to make unreasonable excuses for not getting the work done quickly and correctly.
Christian principals arent like a light switch that turn on and off depending on where we are and who were with. The high moral standards of our consecration are to be applied across the board, not just at the ecclesia, but at home, among friends, among strangers , and at work. Applying these standards will relieve work related stress and anxiety, because by practicing them we are placing our faith and trust in God. In his hands, and under his protection, we know we have nothing to fear.