When You Are Working for the Man
1 Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. 2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.
Teach and urge these things. 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.
Whether you own your own business or shell out paperwork in a cube farm, at some point you are working for somebody. When we read the Bible in modern times, we often move the references to slavery into our workplace, right? After all, those slaves were working for somebody and here we are, working, for somebody.
You have to admit, though, that there were differences. Those differences help us in today’s reading. The thing is, if you were a bondservant working for a master, you didn’t have any choice. You had to work. And if you’ve ever been a kid that didn’t want to do his chores, you know what kind of quality work you do when you don’t want to do it!
So Paul isn’t talking to people who found their calling and landed their dream job. He isn’t saying “In your MadeForThis, work for the glory of God!”
He’s saying honor those that you serve, even if they are a jerk-face and don’t appreciate you. And if they are a Christian (even a Christian jerk-face!) know that your work is benefiting a fellow believer.
This all fits in with reconciling people to God. If we are stirring up trouble, we are troublemakers. If we are sharing the good news about the salvation and peace offered to us by Jesus, we are kingdom builders.
That’s why this whole next section fits. Have you ever worked with someone that was puffed up and conceited? If they act that way at work, they will act that way with their religion too. We can keep our religious beliefs out of the work place only so much. At some point what we believe about God, others, and ourselves will show up in the quality of what we do all day.
So focus all of that on Christ and His dear love for you and your co-workers. As you grow in the truth, the life they see in you will look more like The Way, The Truth, and The Life Himself.
That is the truest reason you are there in that workplace.
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