When Your Boss Is a Jerk
"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone"1
"How do you resist a control freak?" a reader asks and continues, "My supervisor is very controlling, but she is still my supervisor. I'm not sure resistance in this case is good. Can you help me with this?"
Dear Cindy (name changed), at times at work we have to put up with a lot of nonsense unless we are willing to be fired. We go to work to do a good job and earn a living, not to have wonderful relationships (unfortunately). If your boss is reasonable, you might be able to discuss with her that you feel you are being over-controlled and that this makes it difficult for you to give of your best.
However, control freaks don't usually appreciate being told this. They are very insecure people and overcompensate by controlling those around them.
At the same time, while it is important that we don't repay evil with evil, it doesn't mean that we allow people to mistreat or walk over us. If we are being mistreated or persecuted for our Christian faith, that is one thing and we need to depend on God's grace to carry us through. But if we are being mistreated at work by a mean or nasty boss and can't do anything about it, we need to either depend on God's grace to help us cope graciously or look for another job.
Whatever you feel is best and right for you to do, the most important thing you can do immediately is to ask God every day to help you to be "as Jesus" to your supervisor and that she, seeing Jesus in you, will in time want him for herself. There's no guarantee that this will happen, but if it does, it will not happen overnight and, with God's help, will take a lot of patience and grace on your part.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, when I feel like I am being mistreated, help me to make sure that I am acting in a Christ-like manner, and to know when to confront, when to quit and get another job, or when to stay put and learn how to handle difficult people graciously. And please help me always to be 'as Jesus' to every life I touch. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Romans 12:17-18 (NIV).