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Are we required to respect a “bad” boss that may be dishonest or worse?

The Apostle Peter tells us to “show proper respect to everyone; Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17) Here Peter says that we should not only show respect to everyone, but also honor the king, although the king, in those days was often an evil person. The “king” in today’s world is the person in authority, such as a political leader or even a “boss.” Consequently, we are to respect our leaders and bosses due to their positions of leadership even if we may not always agree with their values. 

An interesting example of respect for authority is found in 1 Samuel 24 and 26. After David killed Goliath, he became more popular than King Saul. Saul became jealous and determined to kill David, so David fled. Saul gathered his army and chased David with the intent of killing him. On two different occasions, David had the opportunity to kill Saul. Although David knew that Saul’s actions did not deserve respect, David honored Saul as his king and refused to kill him. David said, “The LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed.” (1 Samuel 26:11) 

How does this example relate to us? We believe that God wants us to respect others because of their positions. (See Romans 13:1-7.) Furthermore, we know that everyone is imperfect, ourselves included. We need to be careful not to let the weaknesses of others erode our respect for their good qualities. We need to look hard for good qualities in each individual. By so doing we will usually find some quality that we can truly respect in that person.

 Even though your boss may seem to be “dishonest and lazy,” he really may want to be a good person and do the right thing but is unaware that his behavior has had such a negative effect on his employees. It may be helpful to bring your concerns to your boss. This approach would best be done in a manner that expressed respect for him and his company. Such a strategy increases the likelihood of a listening ear because you would NOT be making yourself the priority. Instead, the focus would be on your boss and the company he has striven to build. 

What does the Bible say regarding respecting others who have not earned that respect? It says that we are always to show proper respect to everyone (1 Peter 2:17) regardless of whether it is earned or not.

To learn more about how to love those who are challenging listen to, “Condemned to Death, How Did Jesus Love His Enemies?”