The Hard Work of Relationships – In the Workplace - Thursday, August 16th

The Hard Work of Relationships – In the Workplace - Thursday, August 16th

Slaves (employees), obey your earthly masters (employers) in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites. Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master—in heaven. Colossians 3:22-4:1

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

How true it is that we struggle in some areas of life in an ongoing and constant way. Improvement in these areas is very much called for. There is a kind of tension we experience from these ongoing, constant areas of life that nag at us. This is particularly true of this week’s area of consideration: relationships.

The primary source of tension in relationships comes from the fact that people at their core are selfish. We want what we want and we want others to do what we want. The problem of tensions in relationships because of selfishness, runs through all the settings we are looking at this week. The setting for relationships we are looking at today is the workplace.

Today’s Scripture deals with the slave/master relationship. The correspondence between this relationship and that of the employee/employer relationship is striking. However, we are merely borrowing the instructions given and applying them to the workplace. This is all we are borrowing and we need to leave any kind of an actual slave/master parallel out of the equation. We are going to move through the passage and apply what is said. Be sure to look back at the passage as you go along to see specifically what was said.

Employment is employment. We work for employers. They do not work for us. So, “all” that we do should be a fulfillment (obey) of what they have determined they want us to do. The high level of work a person would do if they were being watched should be the level of work they do when they are not being watched. Serving an employer is another way of talking about work. We must work for our employer sincerely. This means that we take our work seriously and genuinely want to do the best job possible.

As believers we take living for the Lord seriously and genuinely want to live for him fully (best job possible). It is because we have given the Lord the center place (reverent fear) and have a vibrant connection with him, that we are able to live life this way. This is how we must approach our relationship with our employer as well. If we don’t have this kind of a flow to our lives, we will be hard pressed to do the best job possible in the workplace. Perhaps we will find it in ourselves (apart from a vibrant connection with God) to do all that our employer wants, but doing all that we do willingly, will likely be out of reach.

When we are in the flow (vibrant connection with God), we will be able to do all our work willingly. We will readily have the core perspective that we are working (employed) for the Lord rather than for people (employer). This is the key to being able to do all our work willingly, particularly when things come at us from our employer that would otherwise keep us from doing so. The real test in all this is whether we work for a paycheck or Divine reward. This is the end result of being in the Divine flow we have been talking about. It is this divine flow that safeguards us from doing wrong and facing the consequences that follow.

We actually are slaves of Christ and he is our Master. Serving Christ is what life is all about and it is the key to doing our part toward having great relationships in the workplace. Christian employers who want to do their part toward having great relationships in the work place are reminded that they are slaves of Christ and he is their Master. The Divine flow for them will lead to just and fair treatment of all employees for whom they are responsible.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, you really do want me to let you into every area of my life. Please come with me fully into my workplace and bring your transforming touch upon how I go about doing what I do there as an employee. Continue bringing about the vibrant connection with you that I need so that truly my life and commitment to doing the best job possible impacts my work place in vibrant and helpful ways. Amen!

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