How do I apply God’s instructions in my real, everyday life?

How do I apply God’s instructions in my real, everyday life? My boss and a co-worker, both Christian, have disappointed me with their actions towards me. Another Christian co-worker has seen and heard these things – it’s nice to know that I am neither imagining, or over-reacting, or playing a victim. I love them both, truly. I do not feel hate towards them. I’m very confused about how to handle my frustration. Do I continue to daily forgive? If so, how do I actually forgive?

Thank you for your question. Your dilemma is faced by most Christians at one time or another. As you are exposed to the inconsistencies of Christians you should be disappointed. Certainly, God is disappointed too.

First of all, realize that sin and its affects have created the imperfections in people. When a person becomes a Christian, the “original sin” that would condemn to hell is canceled out by faith in Jesus Christ, Who is the Sin-bearer (2 Corinthians 5:21). For the believer, the “old man” is crucified or put to death, but the fleshly tendency to sin remains (Romans 5:5-6).

Christians are to yield to Christ within them, in the power of the Holy Spirit, so He can live through them, thus their lives will be characterized by Christ-likeness, not characterized by self and selfishness (Romans 6:12-13, Galatians 5:16-17).

In your case, it would be wise to pray, asking the Lord to reveal any misunderstandings that may exist between you and your boss and co-worker. Then, seek to meet with them privately to have a heart to heart talk about the circumstances that you’re concerned about. Be kind and considerate, even if they are not. It may be that the Lord will settle any differences of opinion or disagreements you have.

If the situation is one of improper attitude, un-Christlike behavior, dishonesty, or selfish manipulation, you may want to approach them in light of Matthew 18:15-20. The principles there direct believers to go to a brother in Christ with “his fault” and seek a request for forgiveness. When you do this and they ask your forgiveness, “you have gained your brother”. If not, you may want to enlist the help of some spiritual leaders in your church. Either way, I would advise you to forgive your boss and co-worker before God in the same way that Jesus forgave His persecutors at the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” This way you can avoid bitterness and resentment building up in you. And, if and when they do ask forgiveness for their fault, you can be ready to forgive them.

What you might want to actually say could go like this: “I care enough about our relationship here at work to try to work this out. Correct me if I’m wrong, this situation seems to be (state the problem) and I’d like to know if this is a misunderstanding on my part or not. I want us to get along as employees and employer, as well as have unity as fellow Christians. Can we talk this out?