God’s word is perfect and effective in guiding us in how to live as citizens and employees. In many ways, we are “slaves” to the workplace, and the way we work for our employer matters—it matters to God.
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men… For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men… show proper respect for everyone… Slaves submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears under the pain of unjust sufferings because he is conscious of God. To this, you were called because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps… For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepard and Overseer of your soul. 1Peter 2:13a & 15 & 18-21 & 25 The Voice
For the Lord’s Sake, Submit Yourself
As foreigners and sojourners in this world, the way we handle ourselves makes a difference because we are conscious of God’s presence. It doesn’t matter if the boss is kind or unfair.
How you handle unjust and unfair treatment reflects not only on you, but on your true Master. Believe it or not, Christ left us a good example, and we should follow in His footsteps.
Remember how He was innocent and yet suffered at the hand of those who just wanted Him out of their sight? When He was unjustly treated, did He scream at them that this was unfair? Did He threaten them with hell and damnation?
No. The truth is that He entrusted Himself to the one who judges fairly.
We are more accountable to Christ than we are to our worldly employers. Because the Good Shepherd is watching over us, then so we will do what is right and good.
We will be blessed when we trust Him because occasionally, we are being mistreated just because we are Christians.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.Matthew 5:10-12 ESV
For it is God’s Will
For it is God’s will for you to be a light in a dark world. Just because “everyone” lies on their resume, that does not apply to you. Just because the staff takes an extra half hour for lunch every day, it doesn’t mean you do the same.
If you are an accountant, your numbers will not lie, even if you’re told to “cook the books” or make two separate ledgers. If you are a soldier, you will not obey an unlawful order. If you are a teacher, you will not give false or misleading instructions. If you’re a laborer in construction, you will refuse to build with cheap material. If you are a student, you will not cheat.
He has told you, O man, what is good, and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with you your God.Micah 6:8 ESV.
You are accountable to a higher authority. Entrust yourself to God, even if you are treated unfairly and without cause. Do not answer back with insults, threaten to get even, or slander them. You are in God’s hand, and He always judges fairly.
By His wounds, your wounded soul is healed of such an offense.
It is commendable
How many employers complain about laziness, inept performance and declining skills of those who profess to be Christians? More than you think.
In the workplace or even the marketplace, they should see us a people of integrity, humility, compassion, and excellence.
Our reputation as law-abiding citizens and faithful workers should be above reproach, even if we’re slandered and mistreated. The foolish will be silenced when they see Christ in you.
Our true Master is Christ. He is the One we ultimately work for, and we are accountable to Him.
Whatever you do, work heartedly, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.Col 3:52-24 ESV
We should work as hard for a good and gentle employer as we would an unreasonable and difficult boss. Responding otherwise shows we are just like everyone else.
Grace is clearly present in the believer because so much grace has been given. When we accept undeserving pain and suffering, we are mindful of God and His grace.
If you do what is right and are still punished, then endure it with patience and grace.
Christ understands what it feels like to be unjustly accused and killed. God’s gentle touch will heal you and His presence will sooth your soul.
To this, you were called
One part of Scripture enhances another to give us a richer understanding, so let’s go back to something we learned in chapter one:
… you who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time… so that the tested genuineness of our faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.1st Peter 1:4b-5 & 7 ESV
Remember we will be tested, but the Lord is guarding us, and we will be found right in His eyes. But let us take a keen look at the word “submission.”
“Submission”, the word alone, causes us to pause. We’ve seen sexism, racism, and dehumanization in its wake. Biblical submission does not sanction it. We submit in honor of God, not men. Submission is an offering of humility, not victimhood.
Do not accept sexual harassment, racism remarks or derogatory behavior. Go through the proper channels. The Lord is not asking us to submit so that the offender can continue to offend.
Go through the proper channels and if that doesn’t work, pray about it and ask the Lord for new employment.
Return to the Shepard and Overseer of your soul
No. All things are not perfect when we become Christians. There is a roaring lion seeking to devour us. This is true, regardless of where we are.
In His love He cares for us; in His power we’re ported, and He guides us in the right way in His wisdom.
Call to Action
So, be on guard!
Don’t try to handle things as a lone ranger. Return, return, and return again to the Shepard and Guardian (Overseer) of your soul.
Soli Deo Gloria – To God alone be the glory!