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Godliness In The Workplace

1 Timothy 6:1-2
All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered. Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them. These are the things you are to teach and urge on them. (NIV)

Slavery was common in Ephesus. Generally speaking, slaves were considered to have no rights and their masters thought they could behave in any way they liked. Therefore slaves tended to grumble as their masters took advantage of them. So how should slave and master relate when either or both of them came to know Jesus and join the church? Paul gave some straightforward principles which are equally applicable to the 21st century workplace.
The worker should respect the boss and not complain. Grumbling in the workplace slanders God, who designed us to be good workers and to honour those who are over us. If the boss is also a believer, they should not expect special treatment nor should they show less respect because they are brothers. Those who serve Jesus should also serve their masters with even greater diligence. Honouring God in the workplace starts with respect, obedience and hard work.
Many of these principles still have to be taught to new believers. They go against the way of the world and our own selfish default behaviour. Without being taught the truth, a Christian can become a spiritual liability in the workplace especially where other believers are involved. The family nature of Christian fellowship can allow the lazy, self-centred and ill-disciplined believer to spiritualise their faults and fail to see the significance of honouring God as they work. So, let us examine ourselves. Grumbling against our boss will slander the name of God. However, if we do obey the Bible’s teaching, and urge others to join us in setting a godly example, the workplace can be transformed and the Lord Jesus is glorified.

My Lord and Master. Thank You for Jesus’ example of submission and service to Your will despite the trouble and suffering He endured. Forgive me when I forget my responsibility to be a servant of Jesus Christ as well as working for my human boss in an energetic and honourable way. Please help me to see my work as my primary place of witness. Help me to be disciplined so that I will work hard and internally respect those who have authority over me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams