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News for Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Sunday School Lesson — Bible Studies for Life
March 9: Who We Work For
By Alec Cort
senior pastor, Bethel, Greenbrier
Focal Passage: Ephesians 6:5-9
Some readers may remember the television show starring Tony Danza titled “Who’s the Boss?” It was a comedy centered around a male housekeeper and his female boss where actual authority of the household was often in question. Is that the case at your job? Do you respect your boss or is he/she a necessary evil you tolerate for a paycheck?
Most places of employment have a pecking order but when employees are looking to cut corners around a boss they don’t like or respect tension ensues, authority gets hazy, and effectiveness of the work suffers.
Knowing that slavery was prominent in Ephesus, Paul taught Ephesian Christians to obey their masters as if they were obeying Christ. Whether their masters were kind, cruel, or indifferent Paul wanted slaves to know that a healthy respect for authority is Christ-like.
During my years as a student pastor there was a phase where some teenager’s wore a shirt that read “Jesus is my Homeboy.” It was an opportunity for me to teach them that Jesus is more than a casual friend (Proverbs 18:24). He is also our King and we should approach Him, not casually or callously but in reverence, awe, and obedience. You may not like your earthly boss but you have a job to do nonetheless. Paul is teaching that we should do that job, not for our earthly boss’s sake but in obedience to our “Big Boss, ” Jesus Christ.
In Ephesians 6:6-8 Paul challenges Christian slaves to work with integrity all the time, not just when they were being watched. I wonder how many employees in America surf the net, play on social media, or watch videos when the boss isn’t watching? In Colossians 3:22 Paul indicates that workers who do these things are only trying to please men.
When the boss is watching they work hard but when he’s not looking they goof off. Many get away with it because earthly bosses cannot always watch, but the “Big Boss” is. Jesus is always watching so even if we don’t desire to please our earthly bosses, we should work hard with a good attitude to please Him. The Greek word for good attitude means “good will.”
How am I more likely to be a good example for Christ in the work place? By slacking or by working diligently to benefit my profession regardless of how I’m treated? Hopefully the boss will recognize the merit of Christians who work with integrity but even if they don’t Christians do well to remember that we are serving as unto the Lord and not to men.
Maybe you don’t work under a boss because you are the boss. You’d do well to read Ephesians 6:9. Just as employees should work diligently for bosses, bosses should be fair to employees and treat them the way they’d want to be treated were they in the employees’ position (Luke 6:31). Most employees will work hard for a boss who treats them well. Isn’t it great to know that our “Big Boss” is a benevolent king who always has our best interest at heart?
He’s never unfair, unkind, or unjust, His assignments are not burdensome (Matthew 11:30). He went the extra mile for our sake when He took our place on the cross. When I work for Him and Him alone, I will always work diligently and with the utmost integrity. Whatever your career, this is a tremendous way to model Christ to others.
— Cort is senior pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, Greenbrier.
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