Authority, Decisions and Submission

Every time our superiors at work make a decision, we support it 100%, right?

Right. I consider myself a loyal employee, but I recently found myself struggling to support a decision made “at the top.” This decision directly impacted me and resulted in a very difficult week as I bore the brunt of angry fallout from person after person who outright hated the change, change that I did not make and did not even agree with. Had I been given a voice in the process, I could have offered practical input based on years of frontline experience.

One of the higher-ups did seek my feedback, after-the-fact, so I took the opportunity to articulate my concerns. However, neither he nor I actually made the decisions, and even after sharing my feedback, the situation remained unchanged. I felt angry over what I considered a bad decision and for having to taking the hit for it.

In the midst of this frustration, I felt Jesus gently convict me to honor and respect my superior’s decision, even though, in my mind, I had “the right” on my side. I was reminded that regardless, Jesus Himself establishes authority and has placed me under that authority. By submitting to those in leadership over me, I actually submit myself to Jesus. With this stirring in my heart, a Christian man at work asked me how I was feeling about the situation. After I told him, he echoed what the Holy Spirit had spoken: as an employee, God calls me to submit to those above me. “Your job is actually quite easy,” he said. “You just support their decisions and enforce the directives they give you.”

While this principle has some exceptions (for example, if leaders ask subordinates to do something illegal or immoral), I realized I had taken on far more of a burden than Jesus intended for me to carry. After sharing my observations and suggestions with management, I have the simple job of obedience, obedience to those above me and ultimately to Jesus. With that hierarchy in mind, my job becomes much easier.

Resources

What kind of character is God looking for in the workplace? Check out this 1 page Bible study.