How King Solomon Kept Me From Quitting My Job

I’d had enough of my boss. I was ready to quit.

His constant meddling and, in my opinion, micromanaging, was driving me crazy. My department was failing and I needed someone to blame. I felt like he had one hand tied behind my back because every time I proposed a new marketing method or change to our web site, he rejected it. He rarely had a good reason to do so in my eyes and so I was furious most of the time and depressed the others. I was finished with him.


Boss working against you? Remain calm & things will work out. Do not quit. Do not give up. Do not lose heart.
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Then I stumbled upon a verse in the Bible for which I was neither looking nor for which I was prepared.

If a ruler’s anger rises against you,
do not leave your post;
calmness can lay great errors to rest.

Ecclesiastes 10:4 (NIV)

Do not leave my post? Remain calm? Surely this must be some error in the Hebrew-to-English translation. I really wanted it to read:

If a ruler’s anger rises against you,
here are the options: 1. Bloody coup, 2. Walk out in a display, take your toys and go home, 3. Stop showing up, or 4. Make his life miserable and then do 1, 2, or 3.

Signs You Have a Crappy JobNow that version would have been easy to swallow. King Solomon’s words were like swallowing daggers. So I studied this verse in-depth to see what it really means and here is what I determined it meant:

If a ruler (boss, parent, volunteer leader, project manager) is working against you for any reason, do not resign, leave, get angry, sabotage the organization, spread gossip, or in any way act in haste. Remain calm and things will work out. Keep working hard and demonstrating leadership. Do not quit. Do not give up. Do not lose heart.

And that is exactly what I did. I kept pleading my cases. I kept respecting my boss as the leader. I kept calm in the face of constant rejection (and I spent a lot of time calling my wife to have her calm me down).

After many months, something changed in him. I will never forget the conversation we had in which I presented an idea that I was sure would get shot down like so many others, and he took it in, thought about for a moment and looked up, and asked if I would consider taking over the entire department (after a couple of weeks of thought and prayer, I did).

Here is Ecclesiastes 10:4 as it played out in my life: My boss’ anger rose against me, I did not leave my post, and I was promoted.

I believe that King Solomon’s words can work for you too. Remain calm. Do not quit. Do not give up. Do not lose heart. Great offenses are being laid to rest.

Has a “ruler’s” anger ever risen against you? What has worked and not worked for you in response?

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  • I’ve had that boss too – and I didn’t handle it as well. Learned my lesson and have since landed in a good place. Great advice Matt, and congrats!

    • Well I did have a boss like that before and handled it exactly like I wanted…and then I had to update my resume.

  • If they are the ruler, they have power. It takes a lot of people willing to lose their head before a major change will take place. The best thing to do is align, or leave.

  • I hate you. That is it. Usually I just have to realize how bad of a person I am when I go to church and see how I’m suppose to be, now you’ve brought that warm feeling (scratch that, I meant scalding feeling) to my everyday life. Thank you Matt, thank you very much.

    (Great post by the way, besides convicting me, it was very instructional!)

    • I’m like the televangelist with the bad comb-over on public access TV who comes on right after the replay of last year’s Shriner’s Flag Day parade. He always seems to know exactly what sin I am committing and calls me on it. Pretty magical. Then once I have determined I am going to hell by day’s end, I am offered a deal I can’t pass up…send him a check and bam! No eternal damnation for me.

      By the way, you can send your check to…

      • That’s exactly how I feel! And let me guess, if ill just comment to twelve mont payments of 1999….99 I can be forgiven?

        • How greedy do you think I am Mark?

          $999 a month will do it.

          • Ok, think very cafe fully before answering this… Do you REALLY want me to answer that question???

  • Matthew Jancosek

    Do we work together? With the micromanagement, Turning down marketing ideas, not wanting to understand the IT side, I am in the same perdicament. I have kept quiet, not to say anything bad, ran with his ideas. My dept is failing and I am taking the blame, but this has not changed in 1 year (Dec. 12th). So I am not going to sabotage but thinking of taking my toys and play else where.

    I do believe that sometimes options 2 and 3 are the only options.

    • HAHA!

      Sometimes that is the best option. But only after you’ve truly exhausted the others.