My Example in The Workplace
See full series: lights-in-a-dark-world-2019
My Example in The Workplace
Sermon by Thomas Thornhill Jr
Sunday, September 15, 2019 am
Lights in a Dark World (31)
As we continue our examining of being godly examples in every area of our lives, today we want to remind ourselves of our responsibilities in the workplace. This is a subject we have examined before, but also one we need to be reminded of, especially as we think about it from the standpoint of being proper examples.
I. We have a responsibility to work to provide for ourselves.
- From the beginning God commended work – even before the fall of man, Adam was called upon to work – Genesis 2:15, 19 – he was to tend and keep the garden, name the animals.
And even after their sinful fall, man was expected to work – in fact, things would be more difficult – Genesis 3:17-19 – life is filled with toil.
- Solomon also realized the value of work – Ecclesiastes 5:12 says the sleep of a laboring man is sweet.
Proverbs 14:23, “In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty.”
Proverbs 12:14 – “A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, And the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him.“
- In the New Testament work is also commanded:
- 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 – lead a quiet life, mind your own business, work with your own hands. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 – if anyone will not work…
- Ephesians 4:28 – don’t steal, rather labor, working with your hands…
- 1 Timothy 5:8 – the warning. If anyone does not provide for his own household…
II. Employee Responsibilities
- The Bible regulates the responsibilities of both employers and employees. We ought to be reminded of these things. As Christians, if we are being examples in this area, we need to be the best possible employees. Consider some of the following verses.
- Ecclesiastes 9:10, whatever your hands find to do, do it with your might.
- Colossians 3:22-24 – addressing bondservants (and their masters). This could easily be applied to the worker/employer relationship.
Obey in all things – do your job.
Not with eyeservice, as men pleasers – even when no one is looking.
Do it heartily, as to the Lord – do your job properly and completely, Know that God IS watching and expects you to do all things and at all times for Him.
God will reward you in this, AND often times so will your employer! Typically they know who the good workers are, and if they have integrity (next point) they will act accordingly.
- Display proper and Christian attitudes
- Be content – Luke 3:14, 1 Timothy 6:6-10 – the warning
- Be thankful – Ecclesiastes 3:13, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.
- Be honest – Titus 2:9-10 – don’t be disrespectful, don’t pilfer, show good fidelity, etc.
- Be pleasant – you can control you disposition in whatever environment you are in. Ephesians 4:31, etc.
- Be fair with everyone – Matthew 7:12 – never forget “the golden rule”, Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
III. Employer Responsibilities
- Just as the Bible speaks of the servant and his disposition, it also speaks of the master (employer) and his disposition, OFTEN in the same context.
- Be a good employer – care about your workers and treat them with dignity. They are people and EVERYTHING the Bible says about how we treat each other applies!
- Give them their fair wages – don’t take unfair advantage of them – Luke 10:7 – the laborer is worthy of his wages; James 5:4 – the rich condemned for exploiting those working for them; Colossians 4:1 – give them what is just and fair, knowing you have a Master in heaven.
- Don’t be harsh and unreasonable – Ephesians 6:9 – give up threatening…
- Apply Matthew 7:12 – the golden rule. How would want to be treated if the circumstances were reversed?
- NEVER forget, you have a “boss” in heaven – Colossians 4:1, Ephesians 6:9 – and with Him there is no partiality.
IV. Using our workplace to reach others
- Workers can become a great source of prospects. As noted last week in dealing with our neighbors (and remember the definition of “neighbor” that Jesus gave (Luke 10:30-37 – the Good Samaritan)
- Always remember the power of a good example – even when it is not appreciated by some. There are places where fellow workers complain about those who “make us look bad”, but that doesn’t excuse you from being your best. NEVER forget who you work for FIRST.
- In the workplace you can:
- Show what integrity means – including complete honesty.
- Control your language – don’t let your speech betray you or God. Ephesians 4:29, Colossians 3:8, etc.
- Show how important the Lord is to you – IF you can accommodate it (and be honest), do you show your fellow-workers that your brethren are important? Will you forego overtime or adjust your flexible schedule so that you can assemble with the saints RATHER than put work first? ESPECIALLY consider this if you have control over your own hours – such as a business owner – do you put profits ahead of serving God? Cf. Matthew 16:26.
- If allowed, will you take time to establish a public study (perhaps for a limited time) during lunch break once a week? Or take time to invited coworkers to studies and services (such as Gospel meetings)?
- Give evidence that show the Lord is important – a Bible on your desk (which you read when you can), sayings with scriptures on your wall, nothing contrary to godliness, etc.
- NOTE: It is a sad reality that many places of business no longer allow such displays, especially government facilities such as schools, courts, govt. offices, etc.
- Seek opportunities for home studies and after work influence – casual conversations and after work activities can lead to further opportunities.
- Don’t let your spiritual zeal lead to cheating your employer. When you have a job, that is what you are hired to do – DO IT! Don’t use “but I’m studying God’s word with someone” as an excuse to not work, or neglect your work.
Also, I am not saying in any of these things to “break the law”, including those of your employers, but IF you can, do what you can! A part of being a good example IS to follow the rules (as long as they do not violate God’s laws – e.g. lying, dishonest practices, etc.).
And thus we can see the importance of letting our light shine in this area as well. We are blessed to be in a country where most of us can find gainful employment. And truthfully, compared to so many in the world, we have so much (which is why we are a spoiled nation that is not content and constantly demanding more). Do we praise God for that? Is your light shining in your place of work? Think about it.