A Working Witness
Read Ephesians 6:5-9 (ESV)
Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is bondservant or is free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
What attitude should Christians have towards work? What attitude should Christians in leadership positions have towards their employees?
Have you ever worked with someone who had a really bad attitude? Maybe they disobeyed management and broke company policies for their own benefit whenever the boss wasn’t watching. Maybe they rolled their eyes and complained behind the manager’s back.
When the supervisor is watching, employees often work hard and expect acknowledgement. But when the boss is away, they are hardly working. Friends, Paul is saying that as believers, this should not be.
Paul was writing in a time in history when slavery was a common practice in Greek and Roman cultures. While slavery has rightfully been outlawed, the idea of mutual respect that is at the heart of Paul’s message here is still very applicable in the workplace environment today.
Employees, you should work sincerely and with your whole heart because of who you represent. You should give your best effort every day at work because your ultimate Master is God, not man. In Colossians, Paul said, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). We should not be working to receive the accolades of men but to glorify the Lord. Our work ethic and integrity in the workplace is what provides our opportunity to witness to those around us.
Employers, as believers, remember that you too are representing your Father in heaven. You are in a position to bless your employees with humble, respectful leadership. Exercise your authority with integrity and appreciation for those who serve under you. You may own your business or be in a leadership position, but you are not your own boss. You work for the Lord and your leadership is an opportunity to witness as well.
Lord, You are my Master. Give me the strength and wisdom that I need to work hard for You and represent You with honor and integrity in my workplace. Amen.