While the people I worked with there were really nice, the managers, and the head boss, were not.
Reference: v.4 Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, “The Lord be with you!”
“The Lord bless you!” they answered. (TNIV Bible)
Explore: I used to work for a telemarketing company – yes, I was the one calling your home just as you were sitting down to a meal with the family!! While the people I worked with there were really nice, the managers, and the head boss, were not. One day they would come in and tell us to be really positive to the people we speak to, then the next day they would tell us how pitiful we were and that we needed to be tougher on the phones. You never knew where you stood with them and they expected the world yet gave little in return. While the job paid reasonably well, the money did not make up for the poor way that the staff were treated. When I left it was like this huge burden lifting off my shoulders as I no longer had to deal with the dodgy management that I sat under.
Application: In chapter 2 of the book of Ruth we are introduced to Boaz. He is a wealthy land owner and returns to his employees after being away on a trip. He greets his workers by saying ‘The Lord be with you!’ and they reply ‘The Lord bless you!’ Now, I don’t know whether this was a standard greeting of the time or not, maybe it was just like our common greeting of, ‘How are you?’ When we say this we’re not really enquiring about the person’s health or emotional state, but it’s just a way for us Aussies to say ‘Hi’. Maybe Boaz’s workers were saying this out of respect to their boss, as he was much more powerful than they were and their livelihood depended on his success. But as we read through the rest of the chapter we discover the true character of Boaz. He is thoughtful, respectful, compassionate, generous and wise. He’s the type of guy who is likely to have workers who would wish God’s blessings upon him. This seems like the ideal working relationship – the boss respects the workers and they, in turn, respect the boss. While this was not my experience at my telemarketing job, it is certainly something I have strived for since. When people have worked under me I have tried to lead with a positive example and I always work more effectively when I have a person of integrity leading over me. Our working relationships are not always perfect or flexible and we can only make decisions for ourselves. But let us take a page out of Boaz’s book and strive to work in such a place where the boss desires the best for their employees, and the employees desire the boss to be blessed.
Prayer: Lord, we spend so much time in our workplaces yet they are not always easy environments to work in. Help us to be a shining light in the organization that we work in. Amen.
How could you bless the people in your workplace?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.