Workplace Servant

“But it shall not be so among you, but whoever wants to become great among you shall be your servant. Whoever of you wants to become first among you, shall be bondservant of all.”      Mark 10:44-45 (WEB)

This has been a week of God speaking to me about being a servant. I was drawn to some of Paul’s words about servants.

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.

You masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with him.          Ephesians 6:5-9 (WEB)

No one that I know is a servant OR master in the same context that Paul was discussing in this passage. However, most of us are employed or are employers. There is something here for me in that context.

As an employee or someone under contract, I have an obligation to fulfill that which I have contracted to do. When I take a job I am to do that job to the best of my ability every day that I come to work. I don’t give a good days work when I feel like it or when I know I am going to get a bonus. I don’t ignore the rules or steal when the boss isn’t looking. (It is stealing to do sloppy or ‘whatever’-attitude work, by the way.) I am under God’s eyes 24/7 and He always knows the ‘heart’ of my work! If I have determined that my employer is wrong, or operating in a standard is unacceptable to my life in Christ, then it is time to give notice and find a new job.

As an employer, I am certainly to be following the leadership example of Jesus. I do not ask anything of my employees that I am not willing to get on my knees and do myself. That doesn’t mean that if I am the director of a company that I should be in the bathrooms scrubbing the toilets. But I should know in my heart that I could be doing it! My Master is also the Master of every person in my employ. Each of us has been given a task and journey in this life and each of us is there as servants to glorify the Master. If I keep that in my heart, I will treat my employees with respect and set the example that will promote an atmosphere that has more of the fruits of God’s Spirit and less of the flesh. (Galatians 5)

I do not work in that wonderful world. I work for a large corporation that, like many, has its primary focus on the ‘bottom line’ and does what it is required by law in its attitude toward employees. Too often I feel that same ‘do-the-minimum’ attitude creeping into my spirit. That is not God speaking to me! I have taken a few minutes when I start my day praying a prayer of dedication: “Lord, this day is Your day. I offer it to You and desire that You be glorified, not only by my actions but also by the intentions of my heart. Lead me and guide me in Your ways, my Jesus, my Lord. Amen.” Now there are times during the day that I need to speak those words again! Jesus is faithful and hears my prayer. Jesus wants me to succeed in being a servant after His own heart.

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