Work • Devotion #1: Boss or Leader?

I am almost positive everyone can relate to a job in their past that was awful. It seems that when you land a new job with a new employer, you are taking your career to the next level and all is right in the world. For the first several weeks at this new job, you are on cloud nine while you get along with all of your colleagues, you enjoy the work, and you genuinely are being successful in your endeavor. Then there is the inevitable “first correction” that is made by your direct boss. Now depending on your personality, some may take this correction or instruction to be condescending and get very upset about it. Some may take it personally and think that the boss hates their work. Others might take the correction constructively and carry on with their normal duties. Depending on the type of superior that is in charge makes an incredible difference in the success of its business and employees. What makes a good boss in the eyes of God? 

First and foremost, most superiors either refer to themselves as either a boss or a leader. I am sure you can pick out which superior has a better motive in helping their employees succeed. I have had enough jobs and have seen many different leading techniques to know what makes a good leader. Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” So when that inevitable conflict arrives, the leader can get the message across to his/her employee in a tasteful manner with the intent to help the employee succeed instead of making the employee feel inadequate. A few verses later also clear up who is the leader.Ephesians 6:9 says, “Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.”

What do you do if you are working for a boss that is unjust in his ways and is not a very good leader? I have drawn the short straw many times in my life with working for unjust bosses. I was miserable, I developed a hate for my superiors, I became very passive-aggressive, and it made me into a person that I did not want to be. In 1 Peter 2:18, it says, “Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.” This is the opposite of how I treated those bosses and simply put, I was sinning. Once it got to the point where it affected my home life and my relationship with my wife, I had to sever ties with that company and find different work. 

With all of the jobs that I have had over the years, I have always learned something new with each one. You always learn what kind of work you like, what you do not like, and also you learn the type of people you like to be around. You also learn what a bad boss and a good leader look like. You learn how they act, how they treat their employees, and also you can see if the boss/leader has either themselves or their employee’s best interest in mind. We are all called to work, for God has chosen us to be in that position to give us the opportunity to share His Gospel and show how to love one another. Colossians 3:12-13 says,“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Now that you understand a little bit better what a good leader is in the eyes of God, I encourage you to discover what a good servant looks like. Ephesians chapter 6 and 1 Peter chapter 2 are good places to start! 

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