“Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed”1 Timothy 6:1
I imagine I am not alone in having endured a bad boss a time or two. It could be we thought our boss was unfair and mean, or in some cases, vulgar and intolerable. Maybe we thought our boss was bad until we were under the leadership of another boss who was worse, and we prayed to have our old boss back. I have had some experiences with bosses I would rather forget, but two bosses in particular made an impression on me that I will not soon forget. They brought out the very best of me in their own demented way, and although I did not like it at the time, I can see how it made me a better employee. I am glad to be on the other side of these bosses now as God has put me under new authority.
I started my new retail job with big ideas and plans, and I thought I would do big things. I first met my boss, a former Marine, during the interview process and he seemed to be a pretty cool guy. I met with him again after I was hired, and he said something to me that I did not fully understand until I got to know him a little better. He told me the previous employee that did my job had called Human Resources on him several times, and he hoped I would not do the same. I chuckled and promised that I wouldn’t, but would rather tell him to his face if there was an issue. A big grin came across his face, and it seemed his respect for me filled the room. I would later regret saying this, as I encountered several opportunities in which it was appropriate to call Human Resources.
The first year in my new role was brutal for me, and I aged years in those first 12 months. I grew to hate Christmas, I grew to hate my boss, and I sure hated my job. The days I would please my boss would be followed with days where he was disgusted with me and would call me names to belittle me. He would write me cards saying “good job”, only when I flipped the card over, it would read, “NOT!!!” I was given the task to rearrange the freezer in below zero temps for hours with no advance warning to bring my coat. I turned into a block of ice as he did not allow me to exit the freezer and thaw out. I would clock in exactly at 4am only to be told that I was “annoying” because I was neither late or early. I grew to hate my boss, and he knew all my buttons to push and rejoiced in pushing them all. He once told me the best thing about the Marine Corps was that there was no Human Resources, and you were free to do what needed to be done to get the work accomplished. I kept my word and never called Human Resources on him, but I also never called upon my God to work in the life of my boss.
Instead, I prayed for a new boss, I prayed for a new job, and I prayed to be raptured up. The days were long and there were very few spiritual thoughts in my head. I sought my boss to be saved only to find relief from my own circumstances. I honestly did not care if he spent eternity in hell as my heart had grown cold and wicked. I did not give him the honor as I should have, and I was not the salt of the earth as I should have. I cared more about my own rights and feelings than I cared about my boss spending eternity in hell. We had debates about God, but my actions did little to support the side I was debating. Years after I left that retail job, I reached out to my boss to ask for his forgiveness, and God still brings him to my mind from time to time to pray for his salvation. God, in His sovereign will, placed me at that store under that boss for a purpose, but yet I saw it through temporal eyes and not eternal eyes. I did not give honor to my boss as I should have, and I will answer for it when I see Him one day.
Do you have a bad leader? Do you realize God has given you that boss for a reason and purpose? How are your thoughts and actions towards your boss? Do you give your boss the honor they are due? Do you realize that you are truly working for the King of Kings? Do you need to repent of your wicked heart towards your boss as I did? Do you need to make things right with your boss? Will you seek your rights over obedience to God? Jesus surrendered all His rights on the cross for the joy that was set before Him as He obeyed the Father. Romans 12:21 states, “Be not overcome of (by) evil, but overcome evil with good.” May we react to evil with good, and may we give honor to whom it is due.