What To Do When You Don't Like Your Boss
This post is part of our Heroes and Villains series. If you would like to read more from the series, simply click here.
Do you remember your first boss at your first job? I had one very memorable boss at my first job. Her name was Macrena (pronouced quite similarly to Macarena, as in the popular dance from the 90s/early 2000s). I’m pretty sure that outside of her boss role that she was a fantastic person to be around. I can imagine her at her own home being the life of the party as she served her guests amazing homemade food.
She was an immigrant from Mexico, I believe. She had lived in America for 14 years by the time we met. So she had this thick Spanish accent. One of my favorite memories of her was when she was trying to take the order of a man who was deaf. That day I learned that it’s nearly impossible for a deaf person to read lips of a person who is bilingual and whose first language isn’t the same as the deaf person’s. She kept asking questions and didn’t understand his responses. It is so amusing to think back on her frustration and how I came in to save the day with the sign for “french fries?”
Anyway, we ended up being friends, but the first year that I knew her, I did not like her. I would get so stressed out when I’d realize that she’d be working on the same day that I did. Which was usually almost every time I worked. She was a lady that was really abrupt, kind of abrasive, and had this “I’m always right” attitude. Which she should have, being that she was the boss.
In recent years, I’ve come to wonder something about leadership. We know that God puts our political leaders in their roles, but what about our bosses? I mean, some of us have some pretty terrible bosses, right? Do we believe that God puts them in authority over us for a purpose, even when that purpose isn’t clear?
Read 1 Samuel 24, 1 Samuel 26:7-12
David just takes an entirely different view of leadership than anything I have ever experienced in my entire life! He doesn’t even seem to talk bad about Saul, even though He would (by our standards) have every right! David is given multiple chances to kill Saul and completely end the fleeing-for-his-life phase. What a temptation that must have been. David could finally sleep in a bed made for a king rather than in wilderness, in caves, and simply under the stars. He could finally end this season of WAITING and get down to DOING. Who wouldn’t be tempted by this? Even some of David’s men pointing out that “hey, maybe this was the moment God talked about when He said…”
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Even in the midst of all this temptation, David refrained. Even in the midst of the seemingly wise counsel, He refrained. He trusted what God had spoken to HIM. He didn’t rely on what others said to him that sounded wise, that sounded right, that seemed appropriate. There’s a lot to be said for seeking God for OURSELVES and for OUR SITUATION. Why? Because in these moments when it seems like our council is wise, it can still be against what God is trying to teach us in that moment.
What can we learn from David?
God put our leaders into authority and it’s up to God to remove them from authority. God removed King Saul from his kingly appointment in His timing. I love how David was patient in waiting for God to make the move, whatever the move was. David submitted to God’s plan and he RESPECTED God and His decisions. Do we respect God’s decisions even when we think less than highly of our bosses? Do we refrain from bad mouthing our bosses out of respect for God and His decisions? Do we work as if working for God or do we choose to give less than our best to our boss? How we treat our boss comes down to how we view our God.
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Even if our leaders are not trustworthy, God is still worthy of trust. God might call us to remain under their leadership, or He might call us out from under that leadership by way of a new job or a new home in a new area. Regardless if God calls us to remain under their leadership or if he calls us out from under their leadership, God is trustworthy. He will do what is best for us and for those around us. He will do what’s best for us, even if what is best for us is simply to wait, to observe, and to learn.
Pray for our leaders. When it seems like there is nothing we can do, commit to praying for our leaders. All of David’s aggravations, all of his frustrations and feelings of defeat were taken directly to God in prayer. We can read the book of Psalm and see that taking his thoughts and feelings to God focused David on God as his authority. God is bigger than our leaders! God is also big enough to handle our feelings AND He’s big enough to give us wise counsel about our bosses. Let’s go to God in prayer and ask for a change in perspective. Focus on God and His authority like David did!
My boss was a difficult one. I didn’t understand her as a person. I didn’t understand or appreciate her style of leadership. But when I submitted to her authority and did my part in doing the best I could at the job I was given, things began to change. Soon, not only did I respect God in the midst of my workday, but I also respected her. I grew to understand her as a person and her style of leadership. In fact, she ended up teaching me a lot of valuable leadership lessons!