Are you a manager or a supervisor? Are you responsible in some way for people? Whether it’s for work or ministry, serious or play, if you’re in a position of authority, you probably look at the world a little differently than those who report to you.
When you aren’t responsible for other people, you have a lot more freedom in how you live and how you make choices. When you are in a position of authority, your choices directly affect the people who you’re responsible for. So you can’t exactly just do what you want to do. I mean, you can. But it may cause more trouble than it’s worth.
Today’s verses are 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
Why am I bringing this up? Well, in the past few days, God has brought a couple of situations to my attention where I haven’t been as thankful for my leaders as I should be. And I know I haven’t prayed for them like I should either.
But there’s this little voice in my head that always whispers to me that if they didn’t want to be a leader, they could just step down. Well, they can’t always do that. A leader can’t always just walk away from his or her responsibilities. Life doesn’t work that way.
I’ve been in enough situations of my own where people were relying on me that I couldn’t just give up and walk away. And leadership works like that no matter what sort of job or ministry you’re working in.
Do you ever think about your boss? Do you ever think about the pressure and the stress he or she must feel? I mean, I’m sure you have enough on your plate as it is, focusing on your own work, but just for a little while, take a moment and think about your workload. And then think about your boss’s workload. Not all bosses shovel their work on to their minions, you know. A lot of bosses have to pass it on down because they have too much other stuff to concentrate on doing.
We are commanded as Christians to pray for the people in authority over us. That’s part of our job. That’s what God wants us to do, and sometimes it can be very difficult to do. I’ve been there. I’ve had people in charge of me that I didn’t particularly care for, bosses I didn’t really like, although those have been few and far between (thank God).
But beyond just praying for them, have you ever taken the time to thank them? Maybe your boss is a jerk, but you still have a job. Maybe your boss is lazy, but he or she is still your boss. And nothing happens without a reason. People don’t come into your life without a purpose. There are no accidents.
So, yes, pray for them. Ask God to bless them. Seriously, ask God to bless them because the more God blesses them, usually the more you’ll be blessed too.
But go the extra mile. Don’t just pray for them. Take a moment to thank them. Stop by and just tell them that you’re glad to work for them. And if you can’t say that honestly, just tell them that you hope they have a great day and that you’re praying for them. Gracious, just smile at them.
People have no idea how far a smile can go.
Bosses are people too, and (just like you) they aren’t perfect. Just because they’ve been given rank and authority over you doesn’t mean they have any more of an idea about life than you, even if they have to act like they do. So give them a break.
God wants us to pray for our authorities, and that includes our bosses, whether you like them or not, whether you agree with their policies or not. So do it. And I’d be willing to bet your perspective on your boss might change after a few weeks of praying for them. After all, it’s really difficult to be angry at someone you’re praying for on a regular basis.