Hopefully, when you filled in that blank you did not have to repent to Jesus for sinning! Everyone has a different experience when it comes to their “boss.” Some people have amazing people who are in the position of authority where they work. Sadly, some people are not able to share that same sentiment.
I have only had four jobs in my life. I worked at a grocery store from the time I was a teen until I was in my mid-twenties. I had a part-time job as a substitute teacher, which lead to me being a classroom assistant, and then eventually I got hired at The River Church. I have been very lucky that all of my bosses have been amazing people.
Back in my twenties, early in my career as a stock boy, I had a major issue; I had a horrible attitude. My way of doing something was the best, and I had no problem telling my bosses what I thought. Clearly, this did not help me get promoted to a different position. Luckily for me, I had a department head take me aside and tell me he wanted to bring me on to his team, but I would have to watch my attitude. I remember him looking at me saying, “This promotion starts with you. You are a great worker, but your attitude stinks. If you have a bad attitude, I do not want you on my team. If you can show you have a better attitude, I would like you on this team.” That idea of “it starts with you” has stuck with me for years.
“Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.”1 Peter 2:18
1. Why does God’s Word tell us we must be “subject to your masters with all respect” regardless of how our boss treats us?
2. Is it right to “work better” for a boss who treats you better compared to a boss that treats you worse? Why is this truth so hard to put into action?
If you ever want to get me a soapbox, and let me rant about the importance of strong leadership, I am game to do so. Leadership is so essential to an organization’s growth, but that organization’s growth only happens at an individual’s level. When people get better leadership, they should get better themselves. However, there is also a bit of a gap that exists inside any organization when subordinates begin to think they are above their boss in understanding, competency, organization, and skill.
3. Why is a humble heart so important to being a good employee?
“For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 2:19-20
4. How often do you take responsibility for your work ethic, attitude, and quality of work? Why is it that we tend to blame others for our own work?
5. What does Peter say we should do when we suffer for doing good?
6. What does Christian endurance look like in the workplace? (Bonus points if you have a Bible verse to prove your point.)
7. What can grumbling, complaining, gossiping, slacking off, insubordination, and passive aggressive behavior do to a believer who is trying to endure?
There is a huge reality that not everything is rosy at about most everyone’s job. There will be a point where you do not overly like your boss. For many people, simply quitting is not an option. I have heard many people “vent” about the difficulties of their job. I love the last portion of 1 Peter chapter 2. I love that Peter pulls us to focus on Jesus even when working for difficult bosses. “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:21-25).
If we break down 1 Peter 2:18-25, we can see five ways we “might follow in his steps.” It starts with your heart wanting to show Jesus in your actions so we are all being a witness for Jesus in our workplace.
“He committed no sin.”
8. How can our sin against our boss be a detriment in the workplace?
9. How can our sin in the workplace be a hindrance to a coworker?
10. How can you be more intentional about being obedient to Christ rather than the sin of your flesh at work?
“Neither was deceit found in his mouth.”
11. Have you ever lied, gossiped, or complained at work? Did it help the situation?
12. Why is it so hard to speak truth to an authority figure?
13. How can you ensure your mouth is not adding more toxins into your work environment?
“When he was reviled, he did not revile in return.”
14. How do you respond when someone hurts you?
15. How can you go about “not repaying evil for evil” to your boss?
“When he suffered, he did not threaten.”
16. How do you react when things are tense at work? How do you treat your co-workers or your boss?
17. Why are difficult times so important to our growth in our relationship with Jesus?
“Continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”
18. Why is trusting in God so essential to working in a place when you feel your boss does not care for you?
19. How can trusting God in a not so great work situation help you grow your faith?
I hope we can now relook at that initial statement.
My boss is an opportunity to show Jesus.
My boss is a person whom I will serve.
My boss is a human who needs to be shown Jesus.
My boss is a person I will love as Christ loved me.