A: From time to time, the world may experience periods of peace — and we certainly should pray for these (and for our leaders). Othniel was one of ancient Israel’s wisest judges (or rulers), and the Bible says the nation had 40 years of peace as a result (see Judges 3:11).
But the world has never known lasting peace, and both history and the Bible warn us that it never will -- not until Christ comes again to establish His perfect rule of peace and justice over the whole earth. In fact, Jesus warned that as the end of this present age approaches, there may be even greater periods of conflict and war. He declared, “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen” (Mark 13:7).
What is the problem? The problem isn’t just political conflict, economic inequality, or social unrest (although all may play a part). The real problem is deeper than this; it’s the problem of the human heart. Where, after all, does greed come from? Or the lust for power? Or anger, or racial pride, or anything else that people use as an excuse for war? They come from within our own hearts and minds.
This is why we need Christ, for only He can change our hearts and give us love for others. Has this happened to you? Turn your life over to Jesus Christ, and then ask Him to help you bring His peace to those around you — and to our world.
Q: I’d probably enjoy my job more if it weren’t for my boss. He’s always criticizing me and pointing out things he thinks I could have done better, and he never has a good word to say about anything. I need the job, but this is really getting me down. How should I react? — A.Y.
A: Have you noticed how your boss treats others in your workplace? If he’s only singling you out for criticism, then it’s understandable why you’d get discouraged. It also may indicate that you need to try harder, or else seek a job more in line with your abilities.
But I suspect you aren’t alone; your boss probably acts like this toward everyone under him. Unfortunately, some leaders believe that the only way to get people to do their jobs is to criticize them; they’re afraid that if they praise them, they’ll grow lazy. When King Solomon died, his son foolishly refused the advice of those who urged him to reward the people for their hard work — and as a result, the nation was split into two kingdoms (see 1 Kings 12).
If someone does a good job (whether it’s at work, in a family, or anywhere else), they deserve our appreciation, and this will encourage them to do better. The Bible says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11, NKJV).
Your boss, however, probably won’t change, so don’t let his personality get you down. In fact, if he has a legitimate concern, thank him for it. Pray that you’ll be the best worker you can possibly be. And pray for him, as well; his attitude may come from his own unhappiness. Above all remember the Bible’s words: “It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:24).
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.