REPOST Today’s AMI Devotional Thought, first posted on March 16, 2015, is provided by Pastor Yohan Lee, a friend of AMI, who in the past has served as a staff at several AMI churches. He is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Cairn University (MA).
Devotional Thought for this Morning
“What To Do When Stuck with a Bad Boss”
1 Sam. 19:9-10
Then a harmful spirit from the Lord came upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. And David was playing the lyre. 10 And Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he eluded Saul, so that he struck the spear into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night.
Concerning my first job out of college, I like to make the joke that it felt like a bunch of frat boys somehow got their hands on a company and were running it. I do not say this to intimate that our company was poorly run; on the contrary, it was easily the best run company for which I ever worked. What I mean by the comment was that my bosses and just about every male (and some of the females) in the company were these overly aggressive, testosterone-filled party animals. There was no regard for politically corrected speech. If you made a mistake, the boss would let you have it with words that cannot be printed in a devotional. And every time we’d go out, it felt like these guys wanted to get drunk like they were in a college party.
As a 22-year-old, who had just spent the last four years in a great, but somewhat insulated, Christian community, I was at a loss to figure out how to deal with my boss. Sure, my then pastors and church leaders yelled at me, but not with the anger that my boss expressed and certainly not the vulgarity with which he expressed it. At the end of the day, I guess I was just too young and too “green” for that style of leadership.
As I talk with more and more people about their jobs, I’ve come to realize that many people struggle with their bosses. Some people work for bad-tempered yellers; others have cutthroat and dishonest bosses; and others have incompetent people above them. In my estimation, less than 20% of people feel like they have talented bosses who are good at what they do. I’m sure one can easily make a comedy movie about horrible bosses; who knows, you might even be able to squeeze out a sequel.
All that being said, for all of you reading today’s devotional, I don’t think your boss could have been as bad as David’s boss. Imagine making millions of dollars for your company (or winning countless battles, 1 Sam. 18:5), marrying the boss’ daughter (1 Sam. 18:20-29), singing your boss lullabies when he gets headaches (1 Sam. 16:14-23), and then having him repay your accomplishments and service by trying to turn you into a human dartboard!
Yet, if you read the account of 1 Samuel, for all the wrong that Saul did David, David never retaliated, spoke a slanderous word, or sinned against the king. In fact, David considered it a sin to do anything harmful to the “Lord’s anointed” (1 Sam. 26:9). As you go out this Monday morning to work, consider your attitude toward your boss and people in authority at your company. Are you able to honor even those who dishonor you, because this is what God would have you do?
Prayer: Lord, help me to be faithful at work and to work hard today. Help me to honor those I work with, and to remember that it is ultimately You whom I serve. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 3
Lunch Break Study
Read Rom. 13:1-7: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
Questions to consider
- According to this passage, if God places authority, what is the implication of resisting authority?
- What is the duty of authority (v. 3-4)?
- To whom do you owe respect and/or honor?
- If we resist authority who is placed by God, then that is tantamount to resisting God, or at least, “resisting what God has appointed” (v. 2). Such actions leave us open to God’s judgment.
- The duty of this authority is to reward good and punish wrongdoing.
- Personal application question.
Did you work hard and faithfully? Did you show proper respect to your boss and everyone else in authority? Do you feel that you are growing in your fear and respect for the Lord?