It’s bound to happen in any family, even the close-knit. “You’re not the boss of me!” The angry words rang out between the ten-year-old twin brothers–red-faced and nearly nose to nose. They had been setting up a sale of their hand-crafted items at an RV park rec hall. Things had been going well. Not now. You could say it was girl trouble.
“Whatcha doing?” a shapely 10-year-old had poked her head inside, her golden curls silhouetted in the sun. She sported a healthy tan, sparkling blue eyes and tidy pastel shorts and shirt.
“I’m Allison. Can I help, too?” Not much was going on except a lot of giggling.
Months before when the boys learned they would have to earn the money for their own new bicycles, Bruce and Brent had prepared to put on a craft show at this RV resort where their own family would be camping for a week.
Now the boys bristled at each other competing for small talk with Allison. She looked from one identical twin to the other, coyly flashing her eyes and lowering her eyelashes.
Though it is common in identical twins to share a sentence – one to start and the other to finish, the twins were getting annoyed with each other. Finally, tempers exploded.
“My turn to talk! I was telling her.” Brent quipped.
“She wants to talk to me, not you! Bruce countered.
“You’re not setting that up right. It looks dumb.”
“You’re always trying to be the boss of me! I’m smarter, that’s what!
Still jockeying for who was the boss and whose turn it was to talk to Allison, the twins stopped when their mom, Sylvia, interrupted, and then suggested, “I think Fletcher, needs a walk.”
It was a win-win situation. For the family pet, a short-legged basset hound with red-rimmed eyes, Fletcher decided there was no such thing as too many walks–nor treats. Bruce took his turn first with Allison, and the canine returned with crumbs of hamburger around his mouth. Next was Brent’s turn and the dog was still chewing up a leftover grilled bratwurst. The third round, manned by Allison alone, Fletcher returned with a dog smile and an oatmeal cookie.
Allison suggested advertising along with dog-walking. “Let’s take Fletcher and go tell everyone about your craft sale. I’ll tell my family first!” One twin at a time and Allison spread the word, and it wasn’t long before the boys and their wares were sold out. Working together, they were winners. But Fletcher, a few pounds heavier and happier, felt like the hands-down champion.
Who is the boss of you? Start with the question, “Who should be?”
God first. “He [Christ] is the head of the body, the church, he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” [Colossians 1:18. NIV].
Second are authority figures, some of whom make it tough to enjoy work. “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17 [NIV] . That makes sense. If you’re a Christian, what does your behavior at work say about your values? If a boss finds you hard to handle, how much energy does it take to channel it into the conflict? If you work with them, you will find a boss has a better attitude and so do you.
As Bruce and Brent grew into adults, they rarely fought between themselves over who was the boss. As adults, they faced many bosses, just as we all have. Some supervisors make it difficult to adjust to hard task master tactics. We may wonder: “Who’s the boss of me?”
You couldn’t find a better master than Jesus.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]