September here has been a lot about relationships, mostly family relationships so far. We'll go back to a few of those, but I thought we'd take a day to talk about a woman and her EMPLOYER.
Dictionary.com says work is "exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil. And an employer is "a person or business that employs one or more people, especially for wages or salary ... a person or thing that makes us of or occupies someone or something." Who do you work for?
I've worked for a wide variety of bosses ... how about you? There was that one guy with the heavy socks and sandals, the one who left "flakes" on my desk after he would stop by ... the heavy breather. :/ Yikes! And there was the boss who was always heavily starched and organized, but I enjoyed feeling productive and valued in working for her. And there was the smiling boss who gave regular evaluations that always emphasized our strengths, somehow pointing out my weaknesses without making me feel like a loser. And there was that boss that always stood too close ... I always expected him to offer me a cigar, but he never did. ;) How do you work well with your employer and do you work as unto the Lord, if you're a Christian woman? Does being a Christian employee look different than being an unbelieving employee?
The parable of the Shrewd Manager in Luke 16 is an example of an unrighteous man's work, but Jesus used it to explain that often the world does a better job than those who follow Him. He said that, ultimately, "No one can serve two masters ... You can not serve both God and money." Believers have to make a choice about who they ultimately work for. Many fall into the trap of worshiping their work, but those who seek their Heavenly Master's approval will see their work as a way to worship.
We all work for someone or something that masters us. The word "master" in the Bible is often used to mean the owner or lord over something, specifically as in a servant. Consider this: "He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who looks after his master will be honored" (Prov. 27:18). Wouldn't it be great to have an employer see that they are blessed BECAUSE OF US, because of their Christian employee? In whatever work we do, the world needs to see the fruit of the Spirit in us shining through. Let's be the most cooperative, the most productive, the hardest working, the most positive, the most grateful, the most peaceful employees out there! Let's have the world watch us at work and marvel at the hope in us today!
The Philippians lived in a messed up world when Paul challenged them:
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life...
So, yes, if you're a Christ following employee who is actually "following" Christ in the way you live your work life, you should look very different than your unbelieving colleagues. The truth is, we're really working for a Master a lot "higher up." ;) And if you know you've blown it in the setting where you clock in, today is a new day - "His mercies are NEW every morning." Start over with a prayer for God to be the Master of your work life, and let His light start shining on the job.
You may be at home, on the road, or in an office, but we still do that work as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:17). How are you being stretched where you work?