Monday, February 20, 2012

Submission to bosses and spiritual leaders

Since I already exhausted my discussion about submission in marriage  at Marriage Monday about 2 years ago, I'd rather deal with submission to leaders this time and I will focus more on the job and in the church. The Bible says, "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you." (Hebrews 13:17). It's so easy to submit to leaders who have strong and sound leadership and management but what if your leader is questionable in many aspects? Take a look at the second statement, "They keep watch over you as men who must give an account." But what if he is not worth in giving an account?  How do you deal with such a weak leader or manager? Still obey him/her as the Bible commands?

If you're a proactive member of an organization, you can complement with the imperfections of your boss. If you do this, you might improve your relationship with her/him and s/he will become nicer to you as well. As a Christian, you don't have to fight with your boss to show him his/her weaknesses but you can contribute to the productivity of your company and eventually to his/her growth and development to become a better leader. For example, if you are not always getting clear directions from him, you may clarify things with him often accepting that he is really like that. Or use your own initiative to come up with ideas to help your company (and your boss) significantly. Who knows he may change sooner or later! Our human tendency in situations we don't like is either "fight or flight".If we don't like the system of our boss, it's either we try to fight and if fighting doesn't work, we leave our job immediately . It's easier to look for a new one. But remember,  our character is shown in our resume if we keep changing our job in a very short period of time.

We can never find a perfect leader. Even Moses and David were chosen by God, they had their own imperfections so it's up to us how we deal with our leaders. Neither "fight" nor "flight" is the best answer. As I always say, it's better to change your own perspective than to change someone else. Although your relationship with your boss is different from marriage which should be till death do you part, try all the possible positive ways in dealing with your boss first before you finally quit. After all, fighting will not give you a graceful exit so it's good to stay with him harmoniously with all endurance and creativity to make things work between you until you call it quits. If we apply "fight or flight" in marriage, there will be more unhappy homes and divorces in the world.

What about submission to church leaders? Like obeying your boss who does not deserve obedience, it is more challenging to deal with such a situation in the church. Church leaders such as elders or pastors have been ordained and I've heard it many times that disobeying them is like disobeying God. So how must we deal with church elders or pastors who don't act the way they are supposed to act or are abusing their spiritual authority? Challenging, isn't it? Of course, good shepherds should lead their flock to the right way. Jesus exemplified what leadership is by becoming a good and humble servant. But they must argue that they are not Christ so they are not perfect. If the lapses are tolerable, we can focus on the strengths of our spiritual leader but if the weaknesses are insurmountable and intolerable that can be stumbling blocks to the members, then how can we submit or obey to his authority? A servant who is given the authority to shepherd church members should be a good example. If this is not the case, then it should be properly dealt with. Pray for God's intervention for nothing is impossible with God. Ask God to guide you as members to deal with him. We did it in our church before and we let one of his respected elders to talk with him but that elder refused to. Later, as we continued to pray together as church members, God made His own miraculous way in dealing with the tough situation. We didn't know that he was also suffering with his own marital relationship. We just found out one day that  he had just lost his own spiritual authority as our church pastor at the same time his own family.

Let's then do our best to be submissive to our leaders and God will do the rest.

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Beth said...

You raise many interesting points about submission, especially to our leaders in church and out. I find that submission is not just a problem sometimes in my marriage but also to my leaders wherever they may be. This gives me much food for thought. Thanks for the great post!

Faith said...

Great post about submitting to the authorities in our lives....excellent! thanks for sharing

Mac an Rothaich said...

Thanks for sharing. I think we have to remember our leaders in the church are human and still our brothers and sisters in the Lord so we need to love them as members of the body more. We so often expect more of them then the rest of the body of the church but show less grace and love their way. Thanks so much for sharing.

Denise said...

Great post.

Anonymous said...

You've done some good thinking on a very difficult topic. None of us has a perfect boss, church leader, OR a perfect husband. There is a lot to apply to marriage in your post.

Thank you for joining us for Marriage Monday today, NiceA!

Blessings, e-Mom ღ

nice A said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. Will be returning the favor shortly.

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