“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not human masters”- Colossians 3:25, NIV
People have various valid motivations for working, including financial independence, career advancement, and self- actualization, etc. For Christians, we are called to work as though we were working for God, and not our bosses in the case of an employee or clients in the case of an entrepreneur. Regardless of where our name is on the organogram, our real boss is the Lord. Having the Lord as our boss has implications for the type and quality of our work, as well as for the attitude with which we do it. The Christian worker should deliver work that is:
- Competent: The Lord requires that we use the talents He has given us.. Whatever our work is, it needs to be done competently, to the best of our ability. “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. “1st Corinthians 7:10
- Restorative: God, our boss, is in the business of reconciling men to Himself through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. In short, God is in the people business. As much as possible, our work and the manner we do it should partake in the providential and restorative work of God. This does not mean adopting the dualist’s mindset that only religious work is God’s work. Rather as Timothy Keller says in the book Every Good Endeavor, “the question when it comes to our choice of work is no longer ‘what will make me the most money and give me the most status?’ the question must now be ‘how with my existing abilities and opportunities, can I be of greatest service to other people, knowing what I do is of God’s will and of human need?”
- Loving: It is not enough that our work be restorative, it must be done with an attitude of love. Love at work essentially means caring for others. Practically as Tim Sanders defines in his book Love is the killer App, “Love is the act of intelligently sharing your knowledge, network and importantly compassion with your business partners.” We need to balance savvy with graciousness to all those we come across at work be they employees, vendors or competitors. “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. – Matthew 10:16
- Faithful: God requires that Christians’ are committed and loyal to their organizations and their jobs. Knowing that God requires our fidelity to our work, we are free from politicking and eye-service. Regardless of whose eyes are on us, or if no eyes are on us, we perform our responsibilities dutifully, and even beyond the call of duty. “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful, 1st Corinthians 4:2.”
- Joyful: Having God as our boss implies that God is the one responsible for ultimately rewarding us for our work. And in this we can rejoice “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”- Hebrews 6:10
In sum, the ultimate purpose for work is to please God. This attitude infuses the lowliest of tasks with meaning. No work is too small if we work with eternal stakes in mind.
How does having God as Boss reflect in your present work?