HOW TO DEAL WITH WORKPLACE ENEMIES
Enemy – “A person who feels hatred for, fosters harmful designs against, or engages in antagonistic activities against another; an adversary or opponent.”
The following is a post I wrote in April of 2010 called “How To Deal With Workplace Enemies”.
I felt impressed to re-blog it tonight for someone who is experiencing difficulties in the workplace as a result of an enemy.
How to Deal with Workplace Enemies as Kingdom Ambassadors
If you have not done so already, at some point in your work experience you will encounter an enemy.
You will come under the fire of a person or persons who for some reason or the other do not like you, hold a grudge against you, or even hate you, and who will not hesitate to demonstrate this to you in some tangible way.
As Kingdom citizens we are not exempt from the attacks of workplace enemies.
Over the years I have seen, and in quite a few instances been, the recipient of many types of antagonistic behavior maliciously unleashed in the workplace; some of you probably have too.
I have seen persons:-
Ignore others as if they do not exist just because they don’t like them
Purposefully spread gossip about others to damage their reputations
Craftily hinder others from effectively carrying out their duties
Unnecessarily report others to their superiors in an effort to get them reprimanded or fired
Place others on difficult shifts in order to frustrate them to the point of leaving a job
Deny persons favor or help that could easily be given to them
Needlessly embarrass others
Physically fight others
I wish that I could say that Believers were never perpetrators and or active participants in such behavior, but unfortunately to our shame, this has not been the case.
It is not always easy to deal with enemies in the workplace. When someone attacks us in some manner at work, no matter how saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost we may be, if the situation gets “hot” enough, at some point our flesh wants to spring into action and retaliate.
It will tell us things like, “Don’t get mad, get even”, “Fix their business”, “Give them a piece of your mind”, “Don’t take that, cuss them out”, “Punch him”, “Slap her”, “Slam down the phone”, “Get him fired”, “Don’t even look her way anymore”, etc.
To make matters more difficult, sometimes others who are privy to situations often add fuel to the fire by making comments or suggestions like, “I noticed how Mr. Seymour put you down in the meeting again; if I were you I’d deny his vacation when he comes to request it” or “Every time you say good morning to Ms. Brown she ignores you, I don’t know why you waste your time speaking to disgusting people like her.”
If we are honest, sometimes these types of responses are very tempting, but all the while somewhere inside, we can sense the Holy Spirit warning us against such a path, and urging us to take the higher road.
So the question is, as Kingdom Ambassadors, what are we to do when we encounter enemies in the workplace? How are we to handle them? How have you been handling them?
As with any other situation that we may face in any area of our lives, when we encounter an enemy in the workplace, the first thing to do is to pray. Pray for strength and guidance and then search the Bible to see what the Word, the constitution of God’s Kingdom, has to say about the situation.
Once we find the relevant scriptures, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we need to read, study, meditate on (which Biblically, actually means to murmur and mutter to oneself), verbalize, memorize, and apply them to our situation daily.
When it comes to dealing with enemies in the workplace, there are many relevant and helpful scriptures with powerful Kingdom principles.
Today we will just look at three, which in and of themselves, if applied would tremendously impact our lives, our enemies lives, as well as the lives of others who may be observing the situation, all to the glory of God.
In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus, our King admonishes us to handle our enemies in a specific way. Jesus states,
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (The Message Bible)
In Matthew 6:14, 15, Jesus states,
“For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.” (Amplifed Bible).
In Romans 12:19, the Apostle Paul writes,
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” (New King James Version)
Hold on a minute now. Are you are saying that I am supposed to love, forgive, pray for, give and be kind to Marilyn, the woman who keeps undermining me and to Gary, the man who keeps insulting me at every meeting?
Are you saying that I am not to get back at them or treat them as I think they deserve to be treated because of their actions toward me? Yes! Based on the authority of the above scriptures, that’s exactly what I am saying.
Jesus set the ultimate example of how to deal with an enemy in the way that he dealt with Judas. From before the foundation of the world was laid He knew that Judas’ would betray Him, yet he still discipled Judas, fellowshipped with him, fed him, washed his feet, and ultimately called him his friend.
Wow! What a way to treat an enemy!
How could Jesus do all of that for the man who would betray him? How could He call him “friend”?
He could call him friend because in carrying out his role as an enemy and betraying Jesus, he was actually carrying out God’s purpose.
Hmm…..could it be that the enemy you are encountering at work is a part of God’s purpose for your life?
Could it be that God is allowing the situation in order to stimulate changes in your character? Could it be that He is endeavoring to cultivate a higher level of spiritual maturity in you in some area; perhaps to further develop patience, kindness, gentleness, and/or self-control? Could it be that the person is in your life as a “fruit cultivating tool”?
When you encounter an enemy in the workplace, be encouraged to meditate on relevant scriptures and prayerfully look at your situation. Ask yourself,
What may God be trying to work out of me?
What aspect of Christ’s character might He be seeking to develop in me?
What has come to the surface from within me as a result of the person’s actions toward me?
Is it God-like or flesh-like?
Is there a spirit of retaliation and vengeance dominating my thoughts, words, and/or actions toward this person, or is there love, forgiveness and a sense of peace in spite of their actions, knowing that vengeance belongs to the Lord?
To be effective Kingdom Ambassadors in the workplace, to be effective representatives of Jesus Christ and of the Kingdom of God, we must agape our enemies; we must love them with the God-kind of love.
Remember, according to Ephesians 6:12, it is not flesh and blood that we are fight against but spirits so if we must war, let’s use the weapons of prayer and praise. If we must fight, let’s fight the good fight of faith. If we must do something, let’s by the power of the Holy Spirit, let our actions be governed by the Word of God.
Copyright © 2014 by Kim Sweeting, Author of “Unwalled” Blog, All rights reserved.
“How to Deal With Workplace Enemies” – Copyright © 2010 by Kim Sweeting, Author of “Unwalled” Blog, All rights reserved
Image “FACING ENEMY LEADER” by podpad, courtesy of http://www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net