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

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

I am a forty-year banking professional who started in the mailroom and was ultimately promoted to upper levels of management. As such, 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.

Things Noticed in the Workplace

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

There is also a noticeable difference among supervisors and upper management. Some are open-minded to suggestions for improvement. 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. Although there are a few respected leaders who inspire their teams to excellence, other managers are demeaning, overbearing, and disrespectful toward their employees.

Christian workers should always remember we ultimately serve Jesus. To that end, our employment goals–as workers or supervisors–should be to honor God at all times. As 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. Keep 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? Or 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. If you are a supervisor or manager, how would your employees rate your leadership?
  3. As a Christian, how can you honor Christ with your work performance?
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