Our True Boss
By whom are you employed? Whose name is on your paycheck? To whom do you answer at work?
Do you enjoy your work? Many people do not.
“Productivity in the American workplace is, by and large, not what it could be. This is not a call to workaholism, but it is recognition that employees may do just what they need to get by. Some studies show employees admit to wasting as much as three hours a day. Would an employee or supervisor be pleased with the quality of our work? More importantly, is God pleased?”1
Is it acceptable for a Christian employee to be wasteful on the job? Is there a significant difference between taking an extended lunch for personal business or skipping out early and spending work time on social media or doing online shopping? What about simply not giving it your best, “phoning it in,” as some say?
Is Your Job a Spiritual Thing?
At issue here is whether some parts of life are secular, somehow distinct from God’s oversight, or whether everything in life is under (or should be under) His Lordship. If some parts of life, such as the workplace, are not under Christ’s Lordship, then it matters little how we view our jobs or those associated with them. But, if all of life is to be submitted to Christ, then our relationships at work are important, as is the effort we put forth.
Scripture tells us, “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men” (Col. 3:23). This undoubtedly refers to work relationships, and in the context of the original scripture, relates directly to masters and slaves. In current contexts, many Bible scholars interpret this as an employer/employee relationship.
How were the Christian slaves in Colosse instructed to respond to their masters? “Don’t work only while being watched, in order to please men, but work wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord” (v. 22).2 In our working relationships, God comes first. To put it another way, we report to God before we report to our earthly boss.
If God is our boss, should it not affect the way we conduct ourselves at work? Yes, it should.
Do You Serve the Lord or Your Boss?
And why does it matter? The Apostle Paul gives us this reason: because we are serving the Lord. “[Y]ou will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ” (v. 24). When we serve our earthly bosses as we are serving our Lord, the Lord views it as service to Him and prepares a reward for us.
When viewed this way, work becomes more than what we do to make ends meet or put bread on the table. When viewed this way, work becomes integral to our spiritual life, an extension of our love and service to God. It becomes an expression of worship.
This is why work must be seen as something we do for God before something done for our human bosses. Our accountability is far beyond an annual review. Rather, it is part of our eternal reward.
Yours for the Great Commission,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church
General Editor, Bible Studies for Life
1– Bible Studies for Life, Productive, by Ronnie and Nick Floyd
2– All scripture Holman Christian Standard Bible