Employment: Blood, Sweat, and Tears!
Mel Brooks, movie producer, said it best, "Life stinks!"
If you have spent any time in workplace, you will have observed many different kinds of attitudes, personalities, and ways of approaching job there. We all have different personalities, habits, desires, experiences, and expectations, all converging and conflicting, and water cooler area becomes a gathering place for hearing latest gossip, a hotbed of conflict and chaos. Somehow, in midst of all this, we, as Christians, are called to distinction. This rubs us against grain of our coworkers and employers, who have conflicting ideas. The Christian enters into a struggle with identity, values, attitudes, and feelings, all producing stress and fatigue.
We are Christians, yet we are also human, and we work with Christians as well as non-Christians. We are material beings who need a livelihood to provide for daily substance of life. From food and shelter to leisure and entertainment, work becomes a necessary means for us to live and function in society. Work can also be a potential for so much more. A call, a vocation, or a job, whatever you call what you do in between your day of worship and church, whether it be a priest or a fry cook, we all have a purpose. We all have a job. Sometimes, it is same, sometimes not, as we may be in wrong place and job. Nevertheless, we have a call to be employed, to function in society, and to behave in that call.
We are also social beings, not just tools or devices, slaves or machines. We are spiritual beings who have been saved by our God and Creator and given call to be virtuous and righteous. All our experiences, expectations, aptitudes, and attitudes come together in workplace. And, all of these distinctions converge into our mindset and attitudes at work. So, what is right attitude and approach with which to do our work? How do we get along with coworkers, bosses, and our God?
Work, Job or vocation is a word we use to start to describe what we do in life, vocation has its root from Latin verb "to call;" thus, our vocation and job is actually a call, similar to a minister. So we need to understand its role and significance in our life and how we are to be in our vocation as well as what it means in our walk with our Lord. Let us venture into God's Word and see what He has to say about what we do during week. What and why we have work and what we are to do in that vocation and how we respond to others around us. The following passages are arranged so you can spend some time in Word, which will help you to develop a Biblical attitude of work. Also, several thoughts based on Scriptural insights are provided for you to pray about to nudge yourself into being a better person at work. You may discover what we do is not as important as how we do it!
God's Call For Employee: Ephesians 6:5-8
You may feel like a slave at work. Or, perhaps you treat others in that way thinking, I am in command. They work for me, and they have to do what I say! But, key to this passage is attitude we are to have, that of looking to Christ as our employer so we do our work for Him. Therefore, we are to be our best for His glory, regardless of our circumstances (Rom. 8:17; Phil. 2:1-11). We may have a paycheck from McDonald's and a boss who may need some acne treatments, but our ultimate authority and manager is Christ Himself! We show our value--that Christ paid a price for us--so, we in turn can respond with a good work ethic (1 Cor. 7:23). We must adjust our mindset to see work as an opportunity to please Him, and in so doing, be a blessing to those around us. As an employee we are called to Diligence! This allows us to operate with our best for Christ's highest with excitement and passion in order to complete our work and call from Lord. It is practical obedience, which is loving of our call and pursuing of our work so we are doing our best for His glory. (Prov. 10:4; Rom. 12:11; Colossians 3:23)
Here are some more Scriptures about being an employee: Exodus 23:12; 35:2; Proverbs 10:26; 25:13; Ecclesiastes 2:4; 5:12; Colossians 3:17,22-25; 2 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Timothy 6:2; Titus 2:9,10; 1 Peter 2: 18-20
God's Call For Employer
God honors diligence and fairness. As an employer you are called to Diligence and to Fairness! These are two characteristics we are to have in workplace, and are especially essential for manager. God hates exploitation of people and will judge with severity those who do exploit others. So, why bother with rotten characters of dishonesty and exploitation when we can have a much more efficient and happy workplace, where workers are cared for and encouraged to produce instead of being forced and made to condescend.
Here are some more Scriptures about being an employer: Leviticus 19: 13; Deuteronomy 24:4,14; Proverbs 27: 18; Malachi 3:5; Luke 10:7; 1 Corinthians 9: 6-12; Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 3:17; 4:1; 1 Timothy 5:17,18
After reading above selected Scriptures, ask yourself these questions:
Q: What attitudes, desires, and habits do you have that need to be changed?
Q: How can you be encouraged by God's truths and encourage those who are in workplace?
Q: What warning is God giving you?
Q: How can you lead a distinctive lifestyle in workplace?