If you’ve been in the business world very long, it’s likely you’ve run into a manager who just wasn’t doing the job right. We need to know biblical principles in dealing with incompetent or unethical bosses.

Someone once told me that you can learn as much from an incompetent or bad manager as you can from a good one, and I think that’s probably true. But the learning is more difficult and painful! I’ve heard many sad stories of trying to work for a boss who is either lazy, disorganized, inexperienced, or unqualified for the job or who cuts too many corners.

The first biblical principle we need to consider is our attitude toward those in authority. While we recognize that level or position does not make anyone better than anyone else, Romans 13 gives us clear teaching on authority.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:1-2).

God has established authority as the order for the universe. If it were not for the principle of authority, we would have nothing but chaos. The same is true in our business world. Authority is essential.

Therefore, the people in positions of authority are part of God’s plan for authority. And as Christians, we are directed to submit ourselves to those people who have risen to those authority positions.

But we see so much evidence that many people in authority are neither godly nor competent. Can their authority be God-given? Yes, even though they may not use their position well or appropriately, their authority is nonetheless from God, and as Christians we are to respect it. To rebel against that is to rebel against God’s order, and, Paul said, it will bring judgment on us.

Obviously, we’re going to need special grace and strength to be able to submit to and respect incompetent management.