Have you ever worked for an absolute jerk? I know I have! In fact, as I was reading today I was reminded of a huge mistake I made as I lashed out in anger for a poor decision that my boss made many years ago. My behavior was immature and I reaped the consequences quickly. My life was miserable! I was moved to a different position, I had responsibilities removed and I was put into a position that just made it easier for me to quit - so I did. Can you relate?
Have you ever been in a position to see that your boss or counterpart is making a decision that is bad for the company? Would their choice be detrimental to the culture in the organization? How about the profits of the business; would they be stronger if the team went a different direction?
The human thing to do (at least for me) includes launching a series of torpedoes through email, phone conversations and back-door deals with his/her superiors or peers to apply enough pressure to get him/her to change their minds. However, if you read 1 Timothy 2:1, you'll realize there is a better way.
The first paragraph of 1 Timothy 2 gives us very clear instruction for the 4 things we are to do for those that sin against us and against God. While simply making a bad choice at work isn't a sin, sometimes the motivation is greed, fame, ego, pride or other drivers - all of which are sinfulness. And, yes... that describes my own temptations and that is why I can relate to the instruction Paul has to Timothy. Paul directs Timothy to:
The 4 Things I Should Have Done to Support My Boss
- Plea in Apology for... (Entries) - The first directive we're given is possibly the most counterintuitive action we might have. However, Paul asks that we apologize for their behavior. This apology is an earnest and sincere plea for forgiveness for their actions and the motivation behind them.
- Interceded for... (Prayer) - The second thing Paul would have us do is interceded in prayer for them. This puts them in the hands of God to show His kindness, His mercy and His grace. While this may not give us the human gratification of justice, it is what we're called to do.
- Formally request... (Petition) - The third thing we are to do is to create a formal petition. Applying this to today's workplace gets tricky. As I read this, it means that we're not to simple go to God with our requests, but to others in the organization. This means that our petition cannot be simply lip service. As we ask for forgiveness on the behalf of others, we need to be careful about how this is done. In addition, we need to extend forgiveness ourselves before we ask others to forgive.
- Show gratitude for... (Thanksgiving) - Lastly, we need to show our gratitude that God provided one of His creations to work with us. We are each gifted in a way that supports the business. We are each crafted with special skills that make us a team. We are to be grateful for those skills and talents.
It's Your Turn To Make a Difference
By exercising each of these for key elements when others make mistakes, we show the grace God has for us and the level of forgiveness he's already extended to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. But, nothing will change in the office - out in the field or wherever you work without you making a choice to do something different today. This means that when someone sins against God in the workplace by their own ungodly motivations you can:
- Stop - take a moment so that you have time to think about how you would respond
- Pray - use the (even few seconds) of a break to ask for God's guidance in the situation
- Act - act as if it were you that made the mistake. What type of forgiveness and accountability would you like others to provide for you to go in the right direction?
I'm Excited to See Your Eternal Impact at Work
Imagine what the water cooler would be like if you knew that others were praying for you and your complete understanding of your own motivations? What would happen at the office this week if you were to Stop, Pray and Act in a way that honored God and His word? If we do what He has asked for us to do, we'll not just be able to say that Christ died for our sins, but we'll be able to demonstrate it through our own actions toward others.
May God richly bless you and your business!