How To Respond To Work Conflicts Biblically

Things go pretty smooth at work when everything is in its place, and people are doing what they’re supposed to do without correction. Then someone tosses a rock in the gears. The system seizes up and guess what, you’re the one in charge. man-in-gears

Being a supervisor is a hard job in my experience in two areas, long hours and dealing with people. I previously wrote on a Christian’s attitude at work, but what about a Christian’s attitude as boss?

Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with respect for authority, and with a sincere heart [seeking to please them], as [service] to Christ— not in the way of eye-service [working only when someone is watching you and only] to please men, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart; rendering service with goodwill, as to the Lord, and not [only] to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, he will receive this back from the Lord, whether [he is] slave or free.

You masters, do the same [showing goodwill] toward them, and give up threatening and abusive words, knowing that [He who is] both their true Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with Him [regardless of one’s earthly status].

Ephesians 6:5-10 AMP

Who Do We Work For?

While we all have bosses over us, ultimately we work for Jesus. As his disciples, and ambassadors to the Kingdom of God, we should be standing out. Everyone who has a job should be exemplary, not to please the fickle hearts of people, but our Lord.

How’s This Apply To Those In Leadership?
Darth Grader

Darth Grader

They, we, also work for Jesus. As a man under authority, with authority over others; I say to this one go, and he goes. Just as He is, I should be like Him. You should be like Him. Here’s how according to the passage I quoted:

  • Don’t threaten those who work for you.
  • Do not use violent or abusive words.

Two reasons as to why you shouldn’t. First, they’re a soul Jesus died for, or wants to save. He loves them that much and they shouldn’t be treated like dirt.

It’s the same way Jesus looks at you. He didn’t sacrifice himself because of any status you may have. Jesus died for a broken, messed up person who had a laundry list of sins. Just like the people that are under you.

Secondly, heightened emotions cloud the mind. They won’t hear the correction, they’ll hear the character assassination. Rory wrote in ConCom, ask yourself ‘How would I phrase this if I genuinely liked the person?

Good advice considering he was a corrections officer who had to talk down disturbed people and human predators. It also fits in with this recent post here.

How Did Jesus Correct?
  • He compared and encouraged a better way (Luke 10:41-42)
  • He hit the heart of the problem and the motive behind it (Luke 10: 25-37)
  • He made sure his reasons were firmly based in Scripture.
  • He confronted directly.

Always have an eye towards restoration. Never go out with the intention to ‘get someone’. Peter denied Jesus three times while Jesus was on trial (Luke 22:54-62). Peter remembered two things in that moment, Jesus predicted it, and the time Jesus said, “But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.“(Matthew 10:33)

It should’ve been curtains for him. After his resurrection, Jesus gave Peter an opportunity to repent and another chance (John 21:15-17). He was restored back into his position.

Then he stuck his foot in his mouth again (John 21:20-23). Oh Peter…

The Breakdown

Treat them as a person, not as a problem. Both of you are under the same authority. Confront directly, the person and the problem, with the goal to fix the problem and restore the person. God doesn’t play favorites, neither should you.

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