Bringing Christ To Work
A daily devotional for March 27th
5Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
9And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
...not in the way of eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart... (Ephesians 6:6 RSV).
Several times the idea is put forth: never work for men, you Christians; work only for God. You can work under a person's direction, but remember that you are working unto the Lord, that your daily task is work that He has given you to do, and you do it unto Him. What a glory this gives to every task. If you approach your work like this, you will never have another dull day. You will never be bored stiff with the routine and humdrum of what you have to do if you recognize that you are doing it with the eye of the Lord upon you and with the recognition that one day it will be made open and clear to all whether you did it as unto the Lord or unto men. What are the signs of the failure to do this?
The first sign is eyeservice, which means working only when the boss is watching. When the boss is not there to observe, you quit working. Some years ago I read an account of a foreman and some primitive workers under him. He found that they were afflicted with this disease of eyeservice; they worked only when he watched them. But this particular foreman was the proud possessor of a glass eye, and he found that he could take his eye out of the socket and lay it on a stump where it could
watch the men, and they would go right on working, whether he was there or not. But one day he came back to find them all lounging around. He had placed the eye on the stump, but one of the men had found a way to sneak around, come up behind the eye, and put his hat over it so that it no longer
saw them. It is that attitude that so widely pervades our society today, the idea of working only when the boss is watching. If you are a Christian, this is forbidden if you want to be faithful to your Lord. Remember, the eye that watches you is not a human eye.
The second sign of failure in this respect is to be men-pleasing. Notice how the apostle is putting his finger on the attitudes that he found so frequently in this relationship of labor and capital. What is being men-pleasing? It is falsely flattering the boss, apple polishing, or playing office politics. It reveals a double heart, the lack of a single eye. It reveals that we are trying to get on by making other people happy but disregarding what God thinks. These are the signs of failure.
Christians are called away from these things. They have no business engaging in these types of activity if they want to be faithful to their Lord. They do not accomplish a thing. They seem to accomplish something, but in the end they do not. Christians are saved from all this if they remember that what they do is the will of God. Paul says that we are to obey our earthly masters in singleness of heart,
doing the will of God from the heart. What is the will of God? Your work! The very work you are doing, where you are doing it, with your co-workers, under the present circumstances and conditions under which you have to work-that is God's choice for you, that is the will of God.
Father, I live before You. There is no area of my life that is not subject to Your gaze and to Your judgment. Grant to me that I correct what is wrong in my own work in the light of this word.
Life Application: Our workplace ethic is praiseworthy when we appropriate the power of His Presence. Do we have a tendency to strive in life and work to please others but disregard Him?
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Copyright © 2007 by Elaine Stedman — This daily devotional is from the book The Power of His Presence: a year of devotions from the writings of Ray Stedman; compiled by Mark Mitchell. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice and a hyperlink to www.RayStedman.org if the copy is posted on the Internet. Please direct any questions you may have to webmaster@RayStedman.org.