Recently I wrote a 3-part series for Redeeming Riches on how God expects us as Christians in the workplace to conduct ourselves. First we looked at Biblical Instructions for Workers. Next, we looked at a Command for Managers. And lastly, we examined a Business Owner With Integrity.
Jason, has allowed me to summarize those topics here (click on the links above to read the full articles):
How to Honor God as an Employee
Ephesians 6:5-8 instructs us as follows:
Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.
From this text, we developed the following points:
- God expects us to be obedient to our boss
- It does not depend on the character of our boss
- It protects the integrity of God’s name (1 Timothy 6:1)
Then we gave several practical ways in which we can work toward this goal:
- Be honest
- Act with integrity
- Be on time
- Be respectful even when we disagree
- Don’t gossip
- Work as hard as we can
It is in these ways that we can begin to honor God as employees!
How to Honor God as a Manager
In order to see this clearly, we must consider Ephesians 6:9
And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
There are two main points to consider from this passage:
- The manager must foster an atmosphere of mutual respect.
- A manager’s authority does not act outside of love. Since this is a strange concept (even for Christians in the workplace), allow me to quote myself (I’ve always wanted to say that ;-)):
Yes, I know that “love” is not the way that most people would describe how a typical boss leads, but that doesn’t take away from it’s significance.
Keep in mind that this passage is part of a larger section dealing with relationships in general – more specifically, relationships in which one party is in authority over the other. Husbands are told to “nourish and cherish” their wife, fathers are told not to “provoke [their] children to anger”, and employers are told to “give up threatening” when dealing with their workers.
In each one of these relationships, those in authority are to lead with love and respect for those under their care and supervision!
***Remember to go to the original article to see the full explanation***
Then we gave several practical ways to be obedient to God in this area as well:
- Understand that you and your employees are equal in God’s eyes
- Have respect for your employees
- Realize that God is in control and you are His servant
- Set reasonable expectations
- Keep the lines of communication open
- Be consistent
- Never ask your employees to do wrong (Acts 4:19-20)
Remember that you must make it possible for there to be mutual respect between you and your employees, and your leadership must be governed by grace and love.
How to Honor God as a Business Owner
Deuteronomy 25:13-16, Ezekiel 45:10, Amos 8:4-6, and Micah 6:10-12.
- He is a Man of Integrity
- He is a man who has the right motives
- He is one who puts people above money – also consider Luke 3:10-14 and Luke 19:5-8
God expects us to live a life that pleases and honors Him at all times, and that doesn’t stop once we enter the workplace! Whether we are a worker, manager, or a business owner, we need to have integrity.
A Couple of Real-Life Examples
Recently, I had the opportunity to do work for a couple of godly men that take these commands very seriously. In both cases it was part time work (I perform many jobs on the side) and all the terms were set in advance.
In the first case, my boss had a [positive] change occur on his end which didn’t affect me at all; however, he contacted me and let me know that because of this change, he was able to double my pay! All he told me was that something came up that allowed him to increase my pay. And this was before I did any work for him!
In the second case, I began to do work for someone else, who contacted me soon after I started and alerted me to a change in our terms. He indicated that he would be doubling my pay effective immediately because he was so pleased with my work! He told me that he feels that good work should be rewarded.
In both of these cases it made me feel both encouraged and humble at the same time. I was encouraged to see two business owners who took the commands of scripture seriously, and had a desire to use their position to be a blessing to someone else.
I was humbled because God moved on the hearts of these men to be a blessing to me. Neither one of them were under any obligation to increase my pay since I had agreed to do the work for the original amount!
It is one thing to read God’s word and imagine what a blessing it would be to see someone who is striving to be obedient to His commands, it’s another to actually see it in action!
No matter what stage of life and work you are in, may you be encouraged by the scripture that is laid out above to be faithful to God in all that you do!
photo by peasap