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Fathers And Bosses


Issue 028

Did you know there are some things which you take to work that you have no idea you are taking.? Let me tell you what I mean:

Some time ago I was talking with a lady who was having trouble with her line manager. She felt he didn’t value her work or encourage her.
She was committed to her work and trying to do it well but her boss
was continually disappointing her. She felt he didn’t understand or try
to build her up as an employee. The overwhelming feeling was that of

Now I happened to know the person she was taking about and I was a
little surprised at this. Certainly, like everyone, he wasn’t perfect but I
hadn’t seen him in this light before.

After a few more questions we got talking about this woman’s
background and in particular her father.

It turned out that he had left her and her mother and had been absent
for many years. As she sketched a picture of her father she spoke of
her hurt and disappointment at his leaving, and her frustration that he
never really kept in touch with her career. You didn’t need to be a
genius to notice that she was using the same language as she had used
about her boss.

Slowly she realised that she was bringing something to work with her
of which she had been unaware. As she packed her briefcase she was
inadvertently redirecting her anger and resentment towards her father onto
her manager. When her boss behaved in a way which reminded
her of her father her reaction kicked in. More significantly she was
hoping that her boss would be something her father never was – loving,
kind and nurturing. This is too much to ask of a manager – even a
good one. They are not fathers. When the crowds wanted to turn
Paul and Barnabas into gods, Paul shouted, “We are only men, human
like you.”

It can be very dangerous to make someone what they are not nor can
never be. Turning a boss into a father is a set-up for disappointment.
There is a Father who doesn’t let us down. Turning to him we can find
forgiveness for those who have wronged us. We can find
encouragement in our work and a new vision to see people as they
really are. Life only really makes sense when he is the Boss as well.


Romans 8: 12 – 17
12Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

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Series: -
Module: 5
Season: -
Daily Guide: No

Tags: disappointment, father, manager, offence, parent, transference, unaware

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Geoff Shattock

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