February 10, 2016

A New Pattern of Work: Your New Boss

Ephesians 6:5-8

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.

—  Ephesians 6:7

Some employers can be difficult to work for. Perhaps the foreman on the worksite is degrading in the way he treats you.  Maybe the district manager is overly critical and impatient. Many of us have worked for bosses who have unrealistic expectations. How is a Christian supposed to react in situations like these?

Paul was addressing a context different from ours; he was speaking to slaves about how they could serve their masters. While slavery in that day was in some ways different from slavery in North America, it could still be extremely difficult and degrading. Masters were often harsh, and beatings were not uncommon. And yet Christian slaves were encouraged to display the power of the gospel in the way they behaved toward their masters.

Simply put, God wants us to show the same respect, honor, and diligence to the CEO of the company, the principal of the school, or the manager of the restaurant, that we would give to Jesus. Doing what is asked of us by our superiors shouldn’t be a way to earn points with them; it should be a way to please our true Master—Jesus. When you refuse to criticize your boss behind her back, and when you put your wholehearted effort into a sales call, your work becomes an act of thankfulness to your true master, Jesus Christ, and he is well-pleased with your work.

Master, you never lose your temper with us. You never criticize or treat us unfairly. May your grace supply the strength we need to do our daily work as work for you. 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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