Obey your earthly masters…with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not…as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. (Ephesians 6:5-6, ESV)

Christians should perform their earthly jobs as if Jesus was their literal boss.

As a thirty-year banking professional who started in the mailroom and was ultimately promoted to upper levels of management, I’ve had the responsibility of working for someone else as well as the privilege of leading large groups of people. Throughout my career, it’s been interesting observing the differences people have related to work ethic, dedication to the job, performance expectations, and commitment to excellence.

Some workers approach their jobs with a strong work ethic while others are merely “present” from 9 to 5. Some demonstrate the willingness to exceed their job requirements while others barely finish their assigned tasks. A few employees are committed to performing their jobs with excellence – always striving to find new ways to deliver “quicker, faster, better” service. Others plod clumsily through their daily functions, clueless about why they do what they do much less how to do it better.

This difference is also noticeable among supervisors and upper management. Some are open-minded to suggestions for improvement while others think they know it all. Some managers put in an honest day’s work while others take advantage of their positional authority with extended lunch hours or “out of office” experiences. A few supervisors are respected as leaders who inspire their teams to excellence while other managers are demeaning, overbearing, and disrespectful toward their employees.

As Christian workers, always remember that we serve Christ. To that end, our employment goals – whether as workers or as supervisors – should be to honor God with our effort. If you are an employee, demonstrate unquestioned loyalty, unmatched dedication, and unequalled performance. If you are a supervisor or manager, honor the privilege of leadership with motivational inspiration, fair and accountable expectations, and impeccable integrity – keeping in mind, there is no favoritism with God (Ephesians 6:7).

Why should Christians give an extra effort on the job? To maneuver for promotions? To set someone else up to fail? To impress the boss? No, we should do it because God expects it. Whatever your job, perform it sincerely and heartily (not grudgingly) as if you were working for Jesus Himself (Colossians 3:22-23).

Discussion Questions

  1. As an employee, what can you do to improve your performance?
  2. As a supervisor or manager, how would your employees rate your leadership?
  3. As a Christian, how can you honor Christ with your work performance?