Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.
Ephesians 6:5-8 NLT
I can get discouraged at my job. My statement in the past has been “if it was all fun, they wouldn’t pay you to do it”. And there are times when I just don’t understand some of the decisions that are made because I don’t have the full picture of all of the factors in play “above my pay grade”. And sometimes my integrity can be challenged by the things that some people in the business world are willing to do to make a buck. And a times, I’ve worked for employers who promised me one thing and then did another, who were harsh people to work under because they enjoyed trampling others with their position and authority. And at times in my life, these things have put me at odds with my job and I have not been grateful for the opportunity and blessing of providing for my family.
At times, I’ve found myself grumbling about this or that in the workplace – sharing in conversations with coworkers about working conditions or about other employees. At times, I’ve found my spirit crushed under the heavy load of my labor as I see my attitude turn to negativity. When this happens, I forget to be thankful, to be grateful – instead, I have let my mind soft into a perspective of expectation of how it should be. I have let myself fall into the pride of entitlement, saying to myself, I deserve X instead of what I am getting. And this then affects my attitude towards my job, my coworkers and those above me in authority. And I can fall victim to all kinds of traps of the enemy, like dissention, division, envy, jealousy – the types of things that Galatians 5 says “shall not inherit the Kingdom of God”.
I’m so thankful for grace, because as I dig into the Word of God each day, and new things in my life are revealed that need the healing touch to be brought in line with His will, I understand more and more about His perfect and righteous and holy nature. And I’m no longer crushed in guilt and shame that I have fallen short in the past, but I’m encouraged that He is strengthening me to wage battle and see my old ways overcome. I encouraged by His promise that if I will resist evil that it will flee from me, that if I am going through a trial that I can find strength in Him. Hope isn’t about a life of ease as much as it is about the peace that He provides to carry us through when we set our eyes on Him.
I’m thankful that I can pay and ask Him to provide me with strength and growth in these areas of my life where I sometimes let’s my circumstances dictate my attitude – when I forget that He is in control and He has me where He had me for a reason, and that He is sending me where He is sending me for a reason.
You see, the Lord wants me to be content with the things of this world that I have, but desperately in need of more of Him. How many times have I gotten this turned upside down? How many times when I have a want our need, do I focus on more stuff, more resources, more money – instead of desperately needing more of God’s miraculous and wonderful involvement in my life? I wonder how many times people trade in blessings eternal because our prayers are not “give me more of you, Lord” but they are “give me more of the world, master”. And those two prayers are to very different masters.
No one said that faith was easy, but it is not meant to be burdensome. Yes, there is a cost to discipleship, but even though it is high in the eyes of men, it is nothing in comparison to the glory of the inheritance of a Child of God. You see, when we learn to love God and to trust Him, and when we realize that He is the only peon worth having – our perspective changes because we understand the difference between the worthlessness of carnal, worldly things compared to the immeasurable value of things eternal. Our walk of faithfulness teaches us this through a combination of seeking Him, being taught by Him, and being tested and proven by the temptations and trials and sufferings of this world.
So, in the workplace, I need to see past the discomfort of the trials and see the opportunity to serve Him faithfully – whether as a visible example to others or just a personal sacrifice of my natural response yielding to trust in Him. Sometimes my actions are visible to others and can serve as a testimony to others, but even when unseen by others my actions are always a testimony to my heart, because God sees all and knows all.
And all of the strength to overcome, all of the strength to see His will fulfilled in our lives – it all comes from love. It comes from a Godly love, not some carnal perversion of lust that the world would offer us as a poor substitute. You see, love is not about self, love pours out onto others. Love is like an annointing oil, it is like living waters that spring forth from inside us to fill our cup to overflowing and spill out over the lives of others. Love is receive from God, who first loved us – and it has a multiplying effect when we are willing to receive it and share it with others.
You see, everything in this world is finite and numbered – so that if you give me something, I have taken it away from you and you have less in turn. But when I share love with others – true, selfless, sacrificial love – both the give and the receiver end up with more in their hearts, because love springs forth from the Holy Spirit of God who is infinite and all powerful and Almighty.
And if we love God, then we will do His will, we will obey His commandments.
And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments.
1 John 2:3 NLT
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:36-40 NLT
All of the law depends on loving God with our everything and loving others as ourself.
An attitude of “What can I do to serve?” instead of “What do I deserve?”
A perspective of being the humble servant, instead of thinking that we have the right to be a demanding master.
Help me today in my workpiece, Lord, to bear your Holy Spirit and to walk in your will as a humble and willing servant, working for you, thankful for all of my many blessings. Amen.