How do we deal with incompetence on the job, in relationships or in the ministry?  Unfortunately, dealing with incompetent people or an incompetent system is something everyone deals with. However, as Christian, we handle the situation much differently than what the world tells us.

First thing to realize is, just because you’re good at doing your job or gifted in ministry doesn’t mean you will never have someone in “authority” over you that you must report to or be subject too.  When that person is very incompetent, rude, insensitive or arrogant, it makes your job much more difficult!

So how do we respond to these types of people?  In life, you’re going to face incompetence at one time or another. It could be at your job.  Maybe in a ministry or volunteer position. It could even be a spouse or family member, but the situation usually involves the workplace whether secular or even in ministry. So, how do you respond?

Well, like most things in life, you always take your concerns to the Lord in prayer. Everything starts with placing all our burdens before God. Next, you must realize that you can not respond like the world who doesn’t know God.  It’s very natural to want to “tell off” your supervisor or superior but this is not advisable as Christian. It’s not what God expects of us, and most likely will only cause more problems.

God Requires Us to Be Submissive

God actually requires us to be submissive to authority. This includes our supervisor or ministry superior. The Apostle Paul called us to submit, meaning; accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.

So even when we are irritated at our boss and we think that person doesn’t know what they are doing, it’s our job to submit to their authority and do what is asked of us.

Does that mean Christians must accommodate unethical requests?  Absolutely not!  As Christians, we answer to a higher authority and that authority is Christ. We ultimately submit to God who is higher than our supervisor or superior.  So, if asked to do something that violates God’s principles or laws, we must stand up in humility and graciously decline.

At some point in our life we will deal with an irritating supervisor that is rude, arrogant or simply incompetent. It’s not the end of the world when they give us instruction, we deem stupid or ridiculous.  Even if your supervisor is vindictive and talks down to you, in the end, it’s just an irritation that we must deal with. However, these irritations can take a toll on our mental and physical condition. That is why we must take these people in prayer to God. 

As Christians, Every Situation in Our Life is Dictated by God

Stop and think, as Christians, every situation in our life is dictated by God. Nothing happens randomly to believers. We are not always placed in situations that are pleasant. Just look at the life of Apostle Paul. Just remember that God has a reason and plan for every situation we are placed in.  If you are dealing with a difficult supervisor, God more than likely is teaching you patience and perseverance.  He is teaching you how to submit to someone you may despise, which is an act of humility.  By taking all situations in prayer to God, we depend on his strength day by day and not our own. 

These are important lessons that God wants us to master.  Anyone can work for a “great” boss but how do you handle a difficult supervisor or superior that requires us to depend on God and not on ourselves.

It also requires us to pray for that boss we don’t like ! That may be difficult but we are called to do that. 

Think back to the bible story of Joseph, son of Jacob who was sold into slavery by his brothers. Joseph had a unique gift of interpreting dreams and was his father’s favorite son. His 10 brothers took him away and sold him into slavery because of their jealousy. What do you think Joseph thought when his brothers sold him into slavery?  Can you even imagine that in our everyday life !

How about when Joseph’s Master’s wife,  lied and said Joseph attempted to sleep with her.  The truth was Joseph was approached by his Master’s wife but refused her advance.  She lied,  and told her husband that Joseph tried to sleep with her.  Joseph was subsequently thrown into jail for a major crime that was not his fault.  What was his attitude?  Did he try to seek revenge on the Wife ?

How about when Joseph interprets the dreams of two prison mates who worked for Pharaoh.  One of the prison-mates was favorable and Joseph interpreted that his position as Cup Bearer would be restored.  The other prison mate was a baker and that he would die.   All Joseph asked,  was for the Cup Bearer to favorably mention Joseph to Pharaoh once his position was restored and get Joseph out of prison.  Joseph had done nothing wrong.  Well,  both predictions came true,  but the Cup Bearer said nothing to Pharaoh after his position was restored with Pharaoh.   Poor Joseph continue to be in prison.   Joseph had to feel totally betrayed !

Some Supervisors Will be Jealous of Your Talent

Two years later,  the Cup Bearer eventually mention Joseph when the Pharaoh had a strange dream that needed to be interpreted.   Pharaoh called Joseph to interpret the dream.  Joseph did so,  and the rest was history.  Joseph became only second to Pharaoh as ruler of Egypt.

Lessons Learned:

1.            Family,  Friends and Acquaintances,  supervisors may be Jealous of your Gifts

2.            Because of jealousy of your gifts,  you may suffer injustice

3.            Don’t retaliate on those who hurt you.  Leave that to God

4.            God will protect you,  even when things look bad

5.            God will restore you in his time

The released Cup Bearer went about his business for 2 years and said nothing to Pharoah,  leaving Joseph In prison.   What was Joseph attitude?   Was he discouraged?   Of course he was!   Did he act in defiance ?   Absolutely not.  Joseph submitted to his superiors and patiently waited for God to deliver him.

So, that is our issue.  Patiently waiting for God to deliver us.  This may take the form of finding a different job or maybe a transfer within the company. Maybe God will move the nasty supervisor to another location or position.  We don’t know. We are called to be patient and depend on Christ, day to day. When you feel like taking revenge on your supervisor, remember what God said! Vengeance is mine. 

Learn to let God take care of your supervisor. Its not our job to act in revenge.  God’s revenge is just; and omnipotent !  We are just vessels of clay, so let the potter do as he pleases and always submit to God’s will for our life.  The temporary aggravation of a nasty supervisor will soon pass away. You will either find another position or God will eventually remove that person, but it’s only temporary. 

We feel like the problem will last forever, but it won’t.  It may be a few months or even a few years, but God always has a  plan in developing our patience in difficult times and teaching us how to respond in bad situations.  We don’t’ respond as the world, but as God beloved servant that depends on him for our very breath.  Don’t be fooled!  God hears our cries and he will deliver us.  It’s rarely in our time, but in his perfect timing.  Who are we to say as clay; to God the potter;  why are you taking so long? This situation hurts, remove me from it.  God ways are not our ways.  During the pain, he is developing and molding us into the person he wants.

The Bottom line is to be in prayer.  Pray for the individual that is hurting you.  Know that as Christians, God hears our prayers and he will deliver us in his time. In the meantime, we depend on him for our daily bread.  The focus should not be on our problems, but on our Lord who is our provider and deliverer.  In due time, the problem or nasty boss will be gone and you will have learned patience, grace, humility, submissiveness and endurance which is what God was after the entire time !

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