Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. (Colossians 4:1)
A Master In Heaven
With the exception of sleeping, our lives are spent more on the job than anything else. Work is a noble part of man’s duty before God. Even in the garden man was told to tend the garden and take care of it. The Holy Spirit taught the purpose of work was to take care of the family and also to help those in need. Paul was a maker of tents to help support himself. Considering how much time we spend in the work force it should become very apparent that the character of our life will be found on the job.
In his letters to Ephesus and Colosse Paul exhorts the Christians to remember the relationship of slave and master is governed by a higher law. The gospel never condemned slavery but the manner it was carried out. Paul’s letter to Philemon is the relationship of a slave and master. As in our text for today the role of a Christian who was a master of slaves was to be in the character of godliness. Their motives towards the slave was to be one of justice in the sight of God. They were to treat all men fairly. The warning came that if they abused their position God would hold them accountable. They may be a master on the earth but they serve a higher master – Jesus Christ. These exhortations carry over in principle to our relationship in the work force.
We may be in a positon of leadership on our job and the Lord reminds us to be His light to others. Christians are the best employees a company has. Especially in the role of leadership the child of God is always just in his dealings with others and the company. His character at work is one of fairness. The best place to show others the gospel of Christ is to show others the gospel of Christ at the work place. Whether it is flipping hamburgers, working in the factory or running a large corporation the Christian is still in subjection to the law of God.
The final exhortation is clear that we all serve Jesus Christ. When I go to work I remember that I do not work for the man who signs my paycheck or the company that I am employed. The reason I put in honest hours of labor is because I work for the Lord. I don’t steal from the company, I do not offer shoddy work, I treat my fellow employees justly and fairly – because my heavenly boss is watching me (and He sees everything). The work places where Christians are found are places the blessings of God are seen.
Go to work today and go to work today for the Lord!
To lift up the hands in prayer gives God glory, but a man with a dungfork in his hand, a woman with a sloppail, give Him glory too. He is so great that all things give Him glory if you mean they should. So then, my brethren, live. (Gerard Manley Hopkins 1844-1889)