For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right. 1 Peter 2:13-14a NLT
Growing up in a rural area gave me the opportunity to work on a chicken egg farm as a groundskeeper. One day I overheard the owner tell the foreman to clean a certain area. The owner left. Moments later the foreman found me and we walked to the spot. He changed his voice and said to me in the same tone as the owner, ”I want you to clean this area”.
I am ashamed now, in my immaturity I got the worker-boss “baditude”. I thought to myself -”I heard the owner tell him to clean it. He is going to get the credit for my work. That doesn’t seem fair.” So I decided to do an imperfect job. I left some of the area unclean.
My plan halfway worked. The owner did follow-up with the forman about his disappointment in not completing the task and reprimanded him. What I was not prepared for was the verbal lashing that I received. He told me that all the work that I did first reflected on him. I learned about honoring those in authority. I had to do the job again while he watched me do it right.
Some observations about authority
- You control your attitude.
- It doesn’t matter whether the authority is acting good or bad from your perspective, you own your attitude.
- Therefore, as a follower of Jesus, choose to follow humility, joy and service.
- Complaining is poison in a work environment.
- Don’t dish it out for others to drink and don’t swallow what others give you.
- Learn to elevate your speech to blessing.
- Follow proper channels to make appeals and be silent about grumbling. God was very frustrated with the children of Israel about their grumbling against Moses as their leader. Some died.
- If you listen to someone talk negatively about your boss or teacher, know that the same person is free to talk negatively about you.
- You can help slow down negative talk by deflecting or choosing not to engage in a conversation. Always speak blessing instead of insulting.
- Pray for and over your work environment.
- Pray for yourself to have a spirit of joy and servanthood
- Ask God to bless the owner and the business to prosper. When it is successful, all are doing better
- Ask God to help silence complaining and help people move to joy
- If you are the owner or boss, affirm your employees and make avenues to listen well.
- People long for encouragement. Jesus gave the parable of the ruler declaring, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
- Good listening affirms value to the one speaking.
- “Government is not mere advice; it is authority, with power to enforce its laws.” – George Washington
- This is true for parenting also, it is the first structure where children learn to honor those in authority.
Everyone has their own set of ideas about justice in the workplace which covers pay and responsibilities. There will be disagreements. Some of that “rub” God uses to reveal attitudes within your own heart. Sometimes, it means you can leave for another job. Make sure you ask God to reveal character issues within your own heart first. Out of your heart flows the wellspring for engaging all of life. Make it a pure spring.
Blessings Love y’all