February 12, 2016

A New Pattern of Work: Humility

Philippians 2:1-11

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

—  Philippians 2:5

The workplace can be like a totem pole. If you sit in the corner office on the 27th floor, you may think that the work of scrubbing the restrooms is beneath your position. If you’ve made partner in your law firm, you may think of basic legal research as unfitting for a person of your title. It’s human nature to set up a pecking order, with prestigious jobs and titles at the top and “less important” jobs at the bottom.

Again, the gospel changes how we approach workplace structures. As people whom God is renewing each day, we bring the character of Jesus into our workplace. This means we bring remarkable humility into our jobs. The CEO will likely not do the work of a janitor, but she will appreciate and value the work the janitor does. This also means we have a readiness to serve others. Is someone overwhelmed with projects? We might offer to take some work off their plate. Or perhaps we show willingness to take our turn at cleaning up the office kitchen.

A gospel-centered heart is quick to take up the tasks no one else wants to do; it is quick to give of oneself, even at great cost. It is a way of life that in all things shows eagerness to become a servant of others.

Humble Lord Jesus, you left the glory of heaven to serve those who least deserved it. Serving us meant that you had to experience great pain and suffering, yet you did so gladly. Teach us to be willing servants of the people we work for and with. Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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