Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What would you do?

Recently I talked with a single mom who is working for a truly impossible boss.  He verbally assaults her and her co-worker regularly, with unrealistic demands, threats and generally treats her very disrespectfully.  But given our current job scene, she can't just walk out--she needs the job, and in fact, she likes the job.  But her health is suffering from having to take this man's abuse.

As a Christian, what advise would you give her?  After I hear from some of you, I'll share what I told her.  No doubt some of you have had similar experiences.  I'd like to explore what a Christian's response should be in such a situation.


  1. I remember you giving a lesson last year on dealing with such bosses; you taught about "changeing who you work for". We are to work for Jesus, therefore we can change who we work for without leaving a job we like. With God's help we can get through impossible situations. I appreciate your talks about every day life for the working woman.

  2. Is this a small shop or a large corporation? Large corporations have HR departments that deal with abuse. Verbal abuse is just as illegal as sexual abuse. In a small shop, it is probably more difficult. Documenting incidents is required. Witnesses would help. But if this man is the owner, any legal stuff would end up with her being out of a job. Okay that is my first thought!

    Sometimes treating the person with extreme kindness and dignity will cause a change in heart/behavior. It has worked for me in the past, although not in such an extreme example. But it can't hurt to try. One can only change one's own behavior. Smile, say thank you. Heap burning coals of kindness on his head.

  3. Mawmaw, it is wonderful to hear that you've been really hearing what I've tried to say. I so appreciate your words of encouragement. You are expressing the truth that we are what we think, and we Christians must learn to bring every thought into captivity and make it obedient to Christ. I find that most of my "issues" begin with allowing my thoughts to go where they should not go!

    Thanks again for your comments.


  4. Jean.e.lane, I agree heartily with your comment. We must respond and not react to others, God promises to give us wisdom, so these are times we ask for wisdom to know how to handle each situation. No one is in our lives by accident, so figure out what God is doing through your difficult person!

  5. This is my first time on your website and I have been perusing the blogs. I am in a similar situation in a small bank. I so agree with you, Mary that no one is in our lives by accident nor does anything happen to us without the permission of God for His purposes and glory and our good. But, this has been a tough one. I know intellectually what I need to do, but it is a constant challenge to APPLY God's Word.

    This is truly being in God's classroom with a hard assignment. One thing that has helped me is on-the-spot reciting to myself verses in response to those negative situations. This helps displace those responses of anger, frustration, vindictiveness, hurt, etc. that we so often feel, naturally. 2 Cor. 10:5, "Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ", is one you have referred to and one of my favorite. Others are the simple little verse, Lam. 3:37, "Can anything happen without the Lord's permission?", Rom. 8:28, 1 Cor. 10:31, 32 and 1 Thes. 5:16-18. Quoting God's actual words helps bring things back in perspective and it is a great way to displace those negative thoughts.