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Giving Good Service

Servants, be obedient to those who according to the flesh are your masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as to Christ; not in the way of service only when eyes are on you, as men pleasers; but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men; knowing that whatever good thing each one does, he will receive the same again from the Lord, whether he is bound or free.
 — Ephesians 6.5-8 World English Bible

I do not want to write this. Not very much. But it is a teaching I have learned, and it is a conviction that the Lord has given me.

"Why don't you want to write about this, Cowboy Bob?"

Because I have to change my evil ways. Lemme 'splain, Loocy.

Although this was written about slaves (and the next verses regarding masters), it also applies to employees and employers. Most people who were slaves did not exactly wish to be slaves. And most people I know do not wish to be doing the jobs they are performing, but they have to make a living.

It is easy to take on a bad attitude when the work conditions are not optimal. Even more so when the boss is a jerk(ette). (I dare not tell you the things that anger me in my current employment!) The problem is that we feel justified much of the time. I was cheated, the boss owes me, "give and take" means I give and they take, all the work I do gets unappreciated. And so on.

Several teachings have come to mind for me. Some were heard, others watched on TV or video, a few were read. It's all a blur, frankly. What does come into sharp focus is that being a follower of Jesus involves your attitude as well as your actions. While we all know about the need to control our unjust anger or lustful thoughts, the workplace is extremely important.

Remember, we are to be armed and ready soldiers for Christ. Our primary mission is to be witnesses, to seek and save the lost. While I am not a great fan of "lifestyle evangelism" (hoping our lives will be such a witness that people will come up to us and say, "What must I do to be saved?"), we are witnesses with our lives, our words, our actions and our attitudes.

Where can any of this be more evident than at the workplace?

People are watching you, especially if you are not an "undercover Christian" (Rom. 1.16), and you do talk about Christian matters. You're on the spot, so you'd better live it. I know people who detest Christians because of the "showy" types they work with, all mouth and no actions, those so-called Christians are reputed thieves, gossips and liars. But that does not apply to you, of course. Or me (sigh). Yes, yes it does. I am not as bad as some I have heard about, but I grumble and complain about unfair things. Perhaps I may feel justified in stealing some extra break time because "I deserve it". Not that I would ever admit to such a thing, of course.

Again, we are to be witnesses. People are watching us, and we can have good attitudes and work ethics. Sure, the earthly employer may be a clown. But ultimately, we are working for Jesus. If we — I — keep that in mind, and know that we are working to please and glorify him ("do all to the glory of God"). He sees, he understands, he hears, he helps us.

God has put us there for a reason. In his time, he'll move us on into something better. But for now, let's give our work our best, because The Company is not our ultimate employer. With that in mind, check and see if things seem so bad after all.

I have to come back and read this myself, again.