The Difficult Colleague
You know those people who just seem to get under your skin, and it doesn’t matter what they say it always seems to rub you up the wrong way.
Reference: v.5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. (TNIV Bible)
Explore: I have always worked in roles where there are people in positions of authority over me. I once worked with someone in leadership that I really struggled to appreciate. While he rarely had to deal directly with me, I found his management skills less than helpful. You know those people who just seem to get under your skin, and it doesn’t matter what they say it always seems to rub you up the wrong way. One day I was in a meeting with this person feeling just this way. Every time they gave a suggestion I would already be thinking negatively about it, even before they had finished speaking. That night I was reading over some of my blogs and was convicted about respecting those people who were in positions of authority. This work colleague came to mind straight away. How could I be exploring the best way to live out my faith when I was disrespecting a leader at work? From that point I started working towards changing my attitude about my colleague. I made a concerted effort to always say hello when we passed each other in the office, and I sought out a mutual friend to ask them to list all the great things this person had done. Instead of always jumping to the negative, I was trying to get a better understanding of this person as a whole being. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think my colleague and I would ever have been BFFs, but it was a good lesson for me to learn how to respect someone who wasn’t easy for me to get along with.
Application: God tells us pretty plainly to respect those in leadership. It doesn’t mean that we should just roll over and be walked on, but it is most effective for the whole organization when there is mutual respect. It doesn’t mean that it’s always easy, and I feel like I’m still a work in progress, but it’s healthy for us to learn how to get along with many different people.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive me when I think badly of others. Help me to learn respect for those in authority. Amen.
How can you make some simple steps towards improving your respect for leaders?