When Work Is a Nightmare (Colossians 3:23) - Your Daily Bible Verse - December 17
When Work is a Nightmare (Colossians 3:23)
By: RJ Thesman
Working in a dream environment is a goal for most of us. But when the dream turns into a toxic nightmare, how do we climb out of bed every morning and make ourselves go to work? What are some practical tools we can use in the workforce? And what is the Christian’s responsibility when dealing with difficult co-workers?
First, try to understand what's happening.
The Native American proverb is still a good principle, “Don’t judge people until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins.”
In today’s work environment, everyone is dealing with some type of stress. A co-worker whose fibromyalgia flares every morning will not be a cheery person. The same goes for a mother whose son is facing prison time or a wife who is struggling to keep her marriage together. A deadly prognosis from the doctor. Depression, mounting debt, a parent with Alzheimer’s disease. All these issues and more can be festering in a nearby cubicle. Try to understand what’s at the root of the difficult relationship.
Next, Remember: Humility wins.
The balance between standing up for ourselves and showing humility is a delicate line. But in the long run, we need to ask ourselves, “How can I sleep tonight if I respond to this co-worker with the same bad attitude? What does God require of me in this situation?”
The biblical example is Joseph, who was mistreated, betrayed, and misunderstood. Yet he humbly continued to serve even while imprisoned. “God granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden” (Genesis 39:21) and eventually Joseph was released and promoted.
Joseph also knew when to set a boundary and stand up for his rights. “Remember me,” Joseph said to Pharaoh’s cupbearer, “and show me kindness. Mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison” (Genesis 40:14).
Finally - Pray for them.
A whispered prayer after an unkind remark can release resentment that might have festered into bitterness. An honest petition to the Holy Spirit to comfort the hardened places in difficult co-workers might become the salve of their salvation. We rarely understand the full scope and power of prayer. What it can accomplish is a mystery. Sometimes just repeating the name, “Jesus,” has helped me past the struggle of the moment.
As one of my encouraging friends says, “Do your best and surrender the rest.”
Editor’s Note: Part of this devotional was taken from 10 Ways to Deal with Difficult Co-Workers by RJ Thesman. You can read the full blog post here.
We want to experience God through the Bible… we really do!
But our good intentions fall flat when reading the Bible just doesn’t seem to help us experience God in a real way. What should feel alive often feels confusing and boring and irrelevant. But it doesn’t have to.
In the How to Study the Bible podcast, pastor and Bible teacher Nicole Unice brings life back to reading the Bible by walking listeners through her Alive Method of Bible study, helping us personally encounter God through his Word by giving us a practical, clear road map for understanding, interpreting and applying Scripture to our lives. Just click below to start listening now!