One of the best parts of working in corporate America is that it gives us the chance to be involved with people that we’d probably never spend time with outside of work. However, one of the downsides of working in corporate America is… that we work with people we’d probably never spend time with outside of work.
Although work is “work” – that seemingly distinct world where we make money to afford our real lives – it actually constitutes a large portion of our real lives whether we like it our not. It isn’t just somewhere we go to use a computer and sit through project meetings, it’s a place where we spend large portions of our time with people who might not always live their lives as we live ours.
As such, most of us at some point or another will be wronged by a boss or a co-worker. Sometimes issues arise out of misunderstandings or genuine differences in opinion, but every once in a while we encounter someone who is simply selfish and malicious. Most people aren’t primarily motivated by selfish ambition and most aren’t emotionally reckless, but there are unfortunately a small number of people whom are, and this has been a problem since the beginning of time. David wrote Psalm 55 after he was betrayed by someone he felt was a close friend. We wrote in verses 20-21,
“As for this friend of mine, he betrayed me; he broke his promises. His words are as smooth as cream, but in his heart is war. His words are as soothing as lotion, but underneath are daggers!”
When this happens, we should remember that God loves justice and loves it when his people act justly (Micah 6:8). Jesus told us that blessed are those “who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matt 5:6), and that those who are persecuted and insulted will also be blessed, for they will rewarded in heaven (Matt 5:10-12).
What he asks of us in these situations is to not give into revenge, but to forgive as we’ve been forgiven (which does not mean subjecting ourselves to repeated abuse), and to work under God’s direction. David advises us to hold on to God when the ground is falling out from under us. He says, “Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” (Ps 55:22)