You wake up to find a note waiting in your inbox, subject line: URGENT, enforced by a red exclamation point. You wince as you click to open the message, knowing exactly who the sender is and what she wants.
It’s your boss. It’s the third email she’s sent over the weekend about your project due on Monday. You open the message for good measure, knowing you’ll have to wade through paragraphs of redundancy before coming to the end and finding nothing new. It’s just another reminder: do the thing she reminded you to do twice already.
When you first started your job, you expected a smooth, easygoing and productive relationship with your boss. She took a little longer to complete your training than you needed, but you attributed that to her attention to detail, not to her inability to delegate responsibility.
Slowly but surely, the relationship became complicated. She didn’t allow you to stretch or take risks, and when you finally did take on a project, she checked in daily instead of trusting you to complete the job. You found others were also aggravated by her pecking, excessive emailing, micromanaging and even her passive aggressive-approach, evidenced by capital-lettered emails. You wonder what to do next.
If this sounds like a familiar scenario, you’re not alone. Many of us struggle with difficult bosses, and it’s not always clear how to best address the situation. Even worse, when cases like this are left unaddressed, they often become more complicated. Sometimes it pays to speak to your boss, to take her aside and explain how you feel. Other times, it might help to speak to a fellow coworker to make sure you handle the situation well.
No matter how severe the problem is, whether you’re dealing with a micromanager or even a verbally abusive boss, it’s important to remember that God sees you. He sees the situation, and as hard as it may be to swallow, he loves your boss. Having God’s heart for those we dislike can be one of the hardest parts of following Jesus. But we can take refuge in his compassion, knowing that he embraced his enemies with fierce love.
On days when it seems impossible to go on in your current situation, rely on these three Bible verses for encouragement:
- Remind yourself that you are called to love those who are unkind and hurtful.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your friends, hate your enemies.’But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil.”– Matthew 5:43-45 (GNTD)
- During a difficult day, the worst thing you can do is to snap back in frustration. Be gentle and slow to speak.
Remember this, my dear friends! Everyone must be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry.Human anger does not achieve God's righteous purpose. – James 1:19-20 (GNTD)
- Pray for the patience and compassion to forgive others.
Get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ. – Ephesians 4:31-32 (GNTD)
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