“You’ve Got Work to Do”
The Duties of Employees and Employers Continuation of the Table of Duties1
For Employees: Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as the 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 whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. Eph. 6:5ff ; Col. 3:22.
For Employers: Ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening, knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with Him. Eph. 6:9; Col. 4:1.
As we continue to work through the Table of Duties, we move to the employee and employer relationship and corresponding duties. The Scriptures quoted above speak for themselves and are clear, but I’ll try to add a little commentary, as well as some tangential points that are less apparent.
Remember, we are all ambassadors of Christ when we go out into the anti-Christian world. Granted, your vocation as an employee or employer is to do a specific duty pertinent to the job description, and that duty doesn’t include preaching the Gospel publicly at work as an employee or employer (you’d likely get fired). You need not feel guilty that you don’t go to work with the purpose of preaching the Gospel, even though some churches do try to guilt their members into thinking this is their duty. Of course, you should speak the Gospel as you have opportunity and is appropriate, which could simply be inviting a coworker to church while chatting after hours at happy hour. You go to work to do the work agreed upon. In fact, if you used the company copier to print Christians tracts to distribute during the work day, you’d be in the wrong. You are there to do your job, not to preach, and this is God pleasing. Take comfort in your work and see it as God does. By faith, your work is a good work in the eyes of God, even if it seems quite mundane. When you obey your bass at work you obey Christ. When you serve your neighbor, you serve Christ.
But, there are things that you can do as ambassadors of Christ on the clock to bring honor to the name of your Father in heaven. For example, work hard and don’t be lazy. Laziness is akin to stealing (7th Commandment). It reflects poorly on the name Christian if you are known to be lazy. Also, steeling is steeling, so even if everyone does it, doesn’t make it right—be it pens to paper. Stay away from the water cooler gossip.
Defend your coworkers, protect reputations and explain things in the kindest away (8th Commandment). Stay away from crude joking and the conversations that celebrate the sins of the weekend. You are not like the world. You used to be, but you are baptized and resurrected to live a new life in Christ. If you’re the boss, take care of those under you. Be fair and don’t squeeze blood from a turnip. If we, as Christians, act no differently than that the dying-rat-race world, it begs the question doesn’t it?
Now, that doesn’t mean that we won’t fail at our duties and sin. We sin daily and daily need forgiveness—and we have it. But there is a difference between sinning in weakness, e.g. “I had an opportunity to defend someone’s reputation and failed in weakness” and habitually being the one who impenitently stirs the pot. There is a difference between light and darkness and you are children of the Light. I conclude with a portion of Ephesians 5 that summarizes nicely the above points:[Eph 5:1-21 ESV] Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
In Christ, Pastor