Archive for July 29th, 2006

The Boss from Hell

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

Please read I Samuel 18:5-16 (NRSV) (The Message) out loud if possible.

As you read, consider these questions: What might God be saying to me in this passage? What jumps out at me? At the end of the reading, try to summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts on this passage (Morgan Stewart):

Sometimes, when I’m feeling whiny, I bemoan the difficulties I have to face at work. But this passage is a bracing “Snap out of it!” for me. My boss has never thrown spears at me, attempting to pin me to the wall! We see how David remains calm under fire and provides two important lessons for any working environment:

David had the ability to work effectively with difficult people. Virtually every workplace has its share of challenging personalities: the chronic complainer, the blow-hard, the loafer, the thief, the gossip, etc. And even Jesus didn’t have it any different when he battled the cantankerous religious leaders and even his own doubting relatives and disciples. Still, getting along with difficult people is invaluable. Your biggest “Saul” today may become the very person who helps or blesses you tomorrow.

David remembered who had sent him to work for King Saul. I once wondered what God could possibly have in mind by sending me to a particularly hostile workplace. It can be difficult — some times nearly impossible — to hear God’s voice amidst office politics, disgruntled bosses, water cooler gossip and unfair treatment.

Over lunch, a school teacher friend encouraged me by saying “You may be the only Jesus your office ever sees.” With that comment, my perspective and attitude changed. Although I still failed to fully understand the God-given reason for being there, I trusted God’s judgment. God was my true boss! I began to care for and even pray for my co-workers with a renewed zeal.

Colossians 3:23 is a favorite “workplace” scripture of mine. I placed it in my Rolodex card file under HELP and referred to it as often as necessary: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.”

Thought for the day: For those who love the Lord, no experience is ever wasted.

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: David Zier, who joins the Jesus MCC staff (as a full-time, unpaid volunteer) on August 8.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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