The verses I am looking at today is addressed to slaves. Most of us have no idea what it is like to be a slave; however, most of can understand what it is like to have a boss. Most of us can relate to the fact that we need to work in order to meet our financial obligations. I have been working since I was 16 years old with only a few years taken off when my children were very young. So, I have had a lot of different experiences in the working world with many different types of jobs. I have had excellent bosses, and I have had a few experiences with bosses that did not have kind interactions with their employees. When all is said and done, if we want to keep our jobs we need to do what we are asked of us, but have you considered what attitude God wants us to have at work? Please read Colossians 3:22-23.
We can apply this idea of earthly masters as someone who is in a position of authority over us such as our bosses. I also want to stress that I am not comparing a slave's life with the life of someone who is free and can choose to accept or quit a job, but we can still apply these principals to our lives. In fact the principals that are given in these verses can be difficult to apply when we are unhappy with our jobs because we can choose to begin looking for another job without caring about the current job we are in. Knowing this, these verses are even counter-cultural for someone who is getting paid for the work they are doing.
First, we are told that we are to try to please our masters in everything we do - even when they are not watching us. This makes me ask - are we working hard to earn money or are we working hard so that we please our employer. There is a difference because it is an attitude in the heart. The heart attitude starts with the respect that we have for God. We understand that He wants us to honor Him in all that we do, and that should be our motivator above all else. Our respect for God and knowing that He wants us to be obedient should motivate us to want to please our bosses. We are also given a piece of encouragement to help us with our work. We are reminded to keep our focus on God and to work as though we are working for Him and not a human. When all is said and done, it is God that we should be pleasing and it can help us in the day to day details of our job when we work with the idea of pleasing Him.
Consider the fact that these verses were written to slaves who had no choice of whether or not they would quit their jobs and may even be mistreated by their master. They were told to have this attitude, so how much more should we, who are getting paid for the work we are doing?
What is your attitude at work?
This post is linked with On Your Heart Tuesdays and Soli Deo Gloria.