18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers,[c] do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism (Colossians 3:18-25 NIV).
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For many of us this is a hard subject. For some of us we have worked in many situations. I have written in the past about the two types of leaders. Either you are David or Saul, see Are you David or Saul? On another Workplace Wednesday post we focused on how if you are truly good at what you do, you will influence people at the highest level in the post: In Front of Kings!!! (Workplace Wednesday) . We have also talked about the importance of servant leadership, See How to Be the Greatest Leader(Workplace Wednesday) .
But, today I want us to look at this idea. This is equally important. We must work as if we are working for God. Originally I was only going to include verse 23. But, it is important to briefly look at the context. Wives, as you follow your husband’s lead, remember you are working for God not this guy who doesn’t know his right from his left. Husbands, love your wife, not because she loves you back but because God sees it, and you love God. Children, I know your parents are unfair and imperfect but follow them like you would follow me, they are doing what they can.
Then we see the passage about slaves. This is the most relevant part of the passage for our purposes. Slavery conjures up a lot of emotion and discussion. A few years ago, I wrote a short post talking about how Paul wasn’t in favor of slavery, but this is a passage about honoring God where you are. Slavery was a reality for the recipients of the letter. For questions about first century slavery, check out Slaves and The Bible (Colossians).
So when it comes to your boss, who do you work for? You work for God. You are to honor God in everything you do. If the evidence of your faith at work is compiled against you, you want to be convicted before the jury of your peers that you are a person of great faith. You go the extra mile even when no one else is looking, because God see you.
If your supervisor or even the owner of the company isn’t good or respectable, at least while you are there and unless you are asked to do something sinful, you must honor them. No matter how you are treated you work hard, you show up on time, you don’t give in to gossip, you don’t hold grudges. Ultimately, all people fall short, and we can’t do right for others only for their sake because that reasoning even falls short. Working for God is the scenario where instead we always fall short. Look at verse 25 again, anyone who does wrong will be repaid. With God, He sees it all. No one gets away with anything. You forgive when someone takes credit for your work. If you think no one sees, remember God does and even if He is the only one who sees you, He is by far the majority.
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