And other duties as assigned

Picture it: Sicily, 1922. Just kidding.

Picture it: Your workplace, last week. Your boss assigns a task that has absolutely nothing to do with your actual job. On top of that, he’s trying to make 20 different changes to deep-seated office culture over the course of 18 weeks. AND his tone of voice is always super condescending when he speaks to you. Even if he’s just telling you to have a Merry Christmas! Ridiculous. Where’s the empathy? Where’s the compassion? Your disappointment in this unwanted authority figure is going to consume you if you don’t get some kind of cosmic justice.

Picture it: You in a Roman centurion’s attire. A cross on the ground. Your boss’s body stretched pai

Corpus Hypercubus, S. Dali

nfully across it. You are holding a hammer in one hand and a nail in the other. You roughly slam your boss’s hand onto an arm of the cross. You position the nail in the middle of his wrist, right on the tendon. As you raise your other arm up, ready to bring the hammer down, your boss looks at you with utter fear and despair. You’re finally getting that justice you so rightfully deserve. It’s finally happening.

Then you wake up and realize this all sounds incredibly stupid. It’s a big overreaction to a very common problem that lots of people have. Up until a few moments ago, you were so ready to crucify your boss based on your own interpretation of how things are at work. You were about to sentence someone to pain and death because they told you to do something that isn’t in your job description.

This may sound like a radical, unnecessarily gruesome metaphor for being judgmental and having issues with authority figures. But it’s what we all do to each other almost every day of our lives, in one way or another. It may not be your boss – it might be your mother-in-law or your emotionally distant father. It might even be someone on the leadership committee at church. The point is, we are ready to crucify people everyday, without knowing the whole story and without any attempt at empathizing with them.

Give the people in your life a break. Show a little grace. That’s what God did when He sent His only begotten Son to that cross for the crucifixion that once awaited all of us for so much less (and more) than “other duties as assigned.”

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