(Part Four of a four-part series.)

Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment…
If the spirit of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your post; for
conciliation pacifies great offenses.

Ecclesiastes 10:1a,4

Contempt for authority! Just another fly in the ointment. Stand by the water cooler this week  and I am sure you will hear plenty of grumbling and complaining about the person in charge. He is too harsh, too narrow-minded, too unrealistic in his expectations, too out of touch with reality…ad nauseum. Grumbling about authority – whether it is our national leaders, coaches, teachers, or bosses – is a favorite American pastime.

But there is the person who allows himself (herself) to become so bent by his (her) boss that he (she) just ups and quits. They throw up their hands and walk away.

Solomon urges you to take a deep breath. Maybe count to ten, if you must. Get alone and pray for the strength and grace to deal with your unreasonable superior. But don’t make a hasty decision in a heated moment. Don’t do in a fit of rage what you may regret when the smoke clears.

Again, I like the way the New Century Version puts it: “Don’t leave your job just because your boss is angry with you. Remaining calm solves great problems.”

That is sound advice. Sure, it may mean swallowing a little pride. But it may salvage a relationship, or save your job, and thereby secure your future.

There may arise a situation from which you must separate yourself. But make your decision prayerfully and deliberately, not hastily or in anger.

God bless your week…and beware of the water cooler gang!

A Prayer for Today: “Father, it is not easy to remain calm in a situation that makes me so tense and angry. But I pray for the strength to do and be right regardless of what those around me – or even those above me – are doing. May the way I handle adversity bring honor to You and peace and security to me. Amen.”

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Copyright 2010 The Journey Man


By Gene

I am a lover, a fighter, and a midnight writer. I love football, hamburgers, and philosophical inquiries. I love Jesus more than any of that. I love my wife, my daughters, my grandson, and my English Setters, Huck and Finn. I also love Huck Finn...and other seminal characters in American literature. Like Gus McCrae. I love the English language. I love to dive into the wonders of its depth and splash around in the shallow end where colloquialisms and slang rule and reign.
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