Question:

I work for a government agency. My contract expires next year.  I have been under the supervision of a woman who has been in her position for over 25 years.  She jokes that she will die in her office chair; she has no plans to retire.

Her office is covered in Christian arts, a Holy Bible sits on a desk in her office, she has her office radio turned daily to a Christian music station.  But in my opinion her character / behavior is far from god-like.  For example this woman enjoys chaos in the work place; if things are running smoothly she will make sure she or one of her staff creates a hostile work environment for us employees. No one has the guts to file a grievance against this woman for fear of retaliation.

With the horrible economy, there is nowhere to go.  It is difficult to find jobs, if I allow myself to be fired. There is a slim chance that unemployment benefits will be delayed or dispense in a such a small amount that one would not be able to survive. Once my contract expires, if it is God’s will I plan on relocating to another state to be closer to family.  But what about the employees who are left here? What should they do?

I have been praying for this individual so that this veil of evil would be lifted from her. I even prayed to God to move her from her current position. Is that wrong?  My whole thing is why should I move?  I do a great job for the company, I am admired and respected by my peers, and I do not receive customer complaints.  I come to work on time, and am seldom absent.  I wear a smile when in the company of the management. I follow policies and procedures.  Why should I pack up and go when this woman is the source of the problems?


Answer:

"Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps" (I Peter 2:18-21).

A show of being religious doesn't make a person good. Jesus pointed this out several times with the Pharisees. "But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, 'Rabbi, Rabbi'" (Matthew 23:5-7).

But none of this makes a difference. If she is a poor boss, then she is a poor boss. It would be nice to work for a good boss, but that isn't always possible, so you do the best you can with the situation you have. If you want, you can always politely ask her why she chooses to do a certain action. She might explain, or she might not. If she explains, it might give you insight, or it might confirm to you that she really doesn't understand.

Unlike the people Peter wrote to, you and your fellow employees do have a choice to go or stay. Yes, things like the economy and the availability of jobs will weigh on those choices. But while you work for someone, you are representing the Lord. "Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free" (Ephesians 6:5-8).

Wow. Thank you so much. Your encouraging words made me sigh and be able to look at my situation in a different light.