“Your light shines brighter than you might think. Don’t let anyone take that from you,” were the words out of my mouth to encourage a young lady who had an oppressive, demeaning boss. She felt undervalued, disrespected, and overwhelmed. Not feelings that cultivated productivity and a desire for longevity at that job. I would know. I’ve been there. What a shame to have to come in to work every day to an already stressful job, but then have management make life more difficult rather than encourage and build up, teach and help grow. Those of us who have been in the work force, for any length of time, have probably run across this - this terrible situation where the boss is a real jerk. I’m not sure what the dynamic is, but it is much too prevalent in companies these days. It seems to me one of the requirements for management should be humility and kindness along with all the other wonderful traits managers should have. It seems that is how one should move up the ladder instead of being hateful and narcissistic. Companies turnover rates would drop and productivity would be at an all time high. Okay, off the soapbox for now. So what do we do about a bad situation like having a miserable boss? Let’s explore that…
Like I told the young lady, let your light shine. And don’t let anyone take it from you. I recognize and completely understand what it is like to be serving others, working hard, and concentrating on the task at hand and then out of nowhere be degraded and criticized. It feels like a pretty red balloon just lost all of its air and fell to the ground. Like someone came along and blew out the candle that was alive in your soul. It’s normal to feel that way. We’re human after all. But, in that instant, the devil has won. He loves it when we feel defeated and disempowered. He uses people and circumstances to take the wind out of our sail. He loves to push our buttons and get us off balance. Whatever has been said by someone else to bully or demean, know this…they are just words. That person has deep-seated issues, but they are not going to swallow you whole. And no one is going to feed you to the wolves. Let the words go in one ear and right out the other. Instead of letting your candle go completely out, watch it flicker for the brief moment the miserable person has interrupted your space, and then watch it straighten up and shine just as bright again when they leave. You are exactly where you are supposed to be at this time in your life. You have purpose. You are enough. Allow God to continue His plan for you. Let love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control be what people see. And as always, pray. Pray for God to give you strength. Pray for God to show you the way. Pray for God to put people and circumstances in your life that are clearly lighting your path of understanding. Pray that He will make it clear when you need to set boundaries and when you need to just be still. Pray that He will allow your Spirit to shine despite a miserable boss. Don’t let your candle go out my friend!
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16