Perspective; March 15, 2020

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

This passage should take care of all complaining employees, because it is addressed directly to slaves! I don’t think this should be applied to sex trafficking, which is the most common form of modern slavery, but it certainly deals with every employment situation we can think of. As with so many things in life, it is all a matter of perspective. When we are focused on the temporal, the here-and-now, it’s easy to get dissatisfied and frustrated. However, when our focus is on the eternal, everything looks different. As Paul told the Corinthians, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18) That’s not to say we are to be doormats, accepting any kind of abuse. We are to be agents of righteousness and justice, since we serve a just and righteous God. However, most of what irritates us doesn’t fall into that category. We are to seek improvement when possible, but not be uptight about it in the mean time. (And some employers can be pretty mean!) The point Paul is making here is that we indeed serve Christ, before, above, and beyond any merely human person. That’s why Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40) Employers make themselves pretty small when they pick on employees, so I think you could apply that here.

I’ve never been in anything like some of the horrendous work situations I’ve read about, but I’ve definitely had friction with employers. In such situations it has been very helpful to remember that my employment in no way defines me, even when it is descriptive. In other words, I may work for so-and-so, but that is not who I am. Who I am is a child of God, created by Him for fellowship with and service to Him and destined to inherit eternal glory that makes everything on this earth fade into insignificance. As long as I keep that awareness, bumps in the road remain minor, even when they might look huge to an outside observer. The difficult think for me is in remembering this consistently. I get irritated or panicked at little things just like anyone else! That’s why I need the Holy Spirit to remind me, and I also need my brothers and sisters in Christ to remind me, because otherwise I forget, and lose out on the peace and joy that God intends and has provided for me.

Father, thank You for this reminder. As a pastor I constantly deal with people who need to be so reminded, if they ever had it firmly in their head and heart to begin with. I ask You to enable me to speak the truth in love to everyone, so that Your children may escape the traps of the devil and walk in all that You intend for them, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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