Who's Your Real Boss?
Pastor Leslie Tipton
Today, we're gonna talk about something that some of us love, some of us hate, and some of us have at least at times some disliking of. It's something we do a lot of, and I do mean a lot. What am I talking about? WORK! Yep, work! Ooo, even just that word for some of us is enough to make us a little anxious, a little yucky in the tummy. I'll prove it to ya. Now don't raise you hands, but answer this question to yourself. Do you ever get the Monday morning blues on Sunday evening?
What about this thing called work? Does anybody know how many hours the average person spends working in his or her lifetime? Any guesses? Come on, take a guess! 100,000 hours! That's how many hours the average person spends working in their lifetime. Now you may sat that sounds like a lot, and you may say there's no way, you'll work way more than that in your lifetime….for some of you, you may already have!
And, as we were saying earlier, often our work brings some dissatisfaction with it. It's ok to admit you're not totally in love with your job. Today we're going to take a good look at the Scriptural principles that relate to work, in an effort to help us find satisfaction (or more satisfaction) in our work.
So let's dig in!
God created work for our benefit
Can anyone tell me the name of the place where life was perfect. Where everything was beautiful and wonderful, where there was no enmity, no strife, none of life's problems. No I'm not talking about when you were single. Come on, name that place. That's right, the Garden of Eden. And it was in this place that the first thing God did with Adam was to assign him work. What, there was WORK in the Garden. Yes, of course. We see it in Genesis 2:15 "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." God created work for our benefit in this sinless environment of the Garden of Eden. Right there we should be rethinking our opinion about having to go to work. If they had to work in the Garden, and life was the best it could ever have been, then it should be a joy and a privilege for us to work.
Buttttt, there's another component to this story. Things didn't stay all shiny and pretty in
The Garden, did they? No, they didn't. After the Fall, when sin entered the world, work was made more difficult. We see in Genesis 3:17-19 where it says, "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Ti will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food." No more shiny and pretty, eh? No, not so much. Sin entered the world through the disobedience of Eve and Adam, and for that there were consequences. So work got harder.
And the fact that work is hard to do at times gives us a certain perspective when it comes to our jobs, our places of work, our bosses, our coworkers, etc. And by perspective I mean attitude. Anybody here ever have an attitude about work, bosses, coworkers? Not I, Pastor Les.
Tell me this, Church of the Holy SpiritSong, if you could have something help you with these attitudes or perspectives, would you want to hear it? Yes?
Well then let's take a look at:
God's perspective of work – If we are going to get help in this area, we're going to get our best advice from the Bible, our spiritual guidebook for our life here on earth. The answers to living a life are all here for the taking.
Work is necessary - please allow me to make a clarification here. There are some of us who are unable to work due to a disability, or perhaps we can only work part time. Please do not mistake me for saying that you should be working. Our references here apply to those who are able to work.
Now there's a revalation for you! In fact, work is so important that God gives us this command in Exodus 34:21 "Six days you shall labor…
And the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 "If a man will nto work he shall not eat." Some pretty tough words there. There's a saying that goes like this. "God gives the birds their food, but He doesn't throw it into their nests."
We need to work to earn a living; To provide our basic necessities in life…food, shelter, water, clothing. We can't expect our parents to take care of us for the rest of our lives while we squander away our time playing video games and listening to Lady Gaga. Work is necessary
The second perspective God has of work is:
Work develops character
One of the primary purposes of work is to develop character. While the plumber is building the water system in a building, the water system is also building the plumber. Her skill, diligence, manual dexterity, and judgment are refined. A job is not just a task designed to earn money; it's also intended to produce godly character in the life of the worker. Proverbs 12:24 says "Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor."
I've been the recipient of many the training program in my careers. A ten week school in aircraft maintenance management, a five year stint as a pastoral candidate….but the real learning happens on the job. You can learn all you want about a particular way to do something, but until you are in the middle of doing that thing, and the "unknown factors" creep in, you don't really know how you are going to handle that task. Can you relate? How many of us have grown stronger and developed more character in these situations?
The third of God's perspectives on work is:
We work for Christ
Scripture reveals that we are actually serving the Lord as we work, and that means NO MATTER where you work. Colossians 3:23-24 says "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
I challenge you to consider your attitude toward work. If you could see Jesus Christ as your boss, would you try to be more faithful in your job?/ The most important question you need to answer every day as you begin your work is this: "For whom do I work?"
You work for Christ.
Now that we've taken some time to learn about God's perspectives of work,, let's take a look at:
God's work responsibilities
It is God who gives us our job skills
Exodus 36:1 says "And every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work." Let me ask you…who gave you those hands? Who fashioned your brain? Whose masterful and skilled hands gave you the imagination and creativity you possess? It is God who has made us and not we ourselves. God has given us, each of us, our unique skills and talents. There are a wide variety of jobs represented in the Bible. There were tentmakers, shepherds, kings, prophets, doctors, retailers, government workers. Even Jesus had a job before he set out on his three year journey. Jesus was a carpenter.
So because He has given us our skills and abilities, we are not to take them for granted or be disrespectful of them. They were given to you for a purpose, just as you have a purpose. Your skills, your heart or emotions, your abilities, your talents, your personality were all given to you to fulfill the purpose for which God has created you. I know you've heard it before here at COHSS, and I'm going to emphasize it again.
Each of us was made for a purpose - Each and every one of us.
God gives us our success and our promotion
An example of God helping a person to succeed…Joseph. Genesis 39:2-3 says "The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered…his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did…"All week long here at COHSS we had vacation bible school, during which we went back to Egypt. (Talk about teaching)
The Lord also gives us our promotions. Psalm 75:6-7 says "No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt (promote) a man. But it is God who judges; He brings one down, he exalts another." Ever wondered why it is taking you so long to be promoted? Ever wonder why other people get opportunities before you, even if you've been on that job longer. There may be a variety of reasons. I can share some of the reasons those things have happened in my life.
I simply wasn't ready
There was more for me to learn before being promoted
There was someone else more qualified (we don't like to admit that one, do we)
Someone that worked with me or for me needed for me to be there, or I needed to be with them
Now that we've studied God's work responsibilities, lets take a peek at OUR work responsibilities:
Our Work Responsibilities
We are to work hard; not hardly work
"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might" says Ecclesiastes 9:10. And Proverbs 12:27 tells us "The precious possession of a man is diligence." The Bible encourages diligence and hard work.Throughout Scripture, we see examples of people hard at work. Paul was one of those people. After his conversion, it seemed as though Paul worked tirelessly to spread the Word of the Lord, not only into his local town, but all over the
We are not to overwork
There is no doubt some of us are soooo guilty of this. Overworking not only keeps you from other priorities in your life, but it can cause all sorts of health issues. Depression, anxiety, ulcers, high blood pressure…and the list goes on. We need to balance our work with other priotities in life.What other priorities in life? Here are some questions for us to ask ourselves to see if we overwork:
Is your relationship with Christ suffering?
Is your relationship with your spouse and or children waning?
Do you find yourself with no time to exercise?
When you come home at night, does the dog look at you and then put his head back down on her pillow?
What about your spouse?
Did you just notice the leak in the roof due to the huge water spot on the ceiling because you just happened to be home during daylight hours the other day?
Yes, some of these are silly questions, but it is a serious issue. Exodus 34:21 tells us "Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest." Rest becomes a faith issue for us. Is God able to make our six day work week just as productive as a seven day work week? Of course he is. He's the one that put it in place. Even God rested after creating the world and all that's in it. Jesus rested too.
We are to be honest and faithful
We don't want to be cheating our companies by taking supplies to use for our own purposes, We don't want to lie about our time card. Scripture says "Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another."
We are to pray
I know you know this! If anyone has ever had trouble at work with a coworker or the owner of the company, you've spent some serious hours petitioning God to remove them. No, seriously, we are to pray. But don't pray for them to change, pray for you to change. In fact, I think every time I've prayed for someone else to change, in the end, it was me and my behavior that changed more. Why? Because God uses those people to build character in our lives.
You may say "But this so and so person has been a thorn in my flesh for five years in that company." And what's your point? Guess what….God's getting you ready for another assignment in the future where you're going to have to deal with even more difficult people! So get through this assignment with prayer and petition, and learn how to deal with this ONE person before you have to go and deal with the TEN.
Here's another thing. People say "I can't work there anymore…I'm the ONLY Christian on the staff." Hello!! You're the only Christian, and you want to leave? The Lord places us around people to help them get to know Him. Who is going to be there to help them with a Christ like example if you leave?
We are to honor our employers
Godly people always honor their superiors. Why? First, Scripture tells us in 1 Peter 2:18 "Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable." Ever had an unreasonable master, or boss? I have…but they, through God's provision, hired me there. And you too! How dare we start to be snarky, sassy, and disrespectful. It's not Christ like, it's not loving, and it's certainly not what Jesus would do.
We are to honor fellow employees and never slander them
Quickly…don't get involved in the office gossip. It's unscriptural, it's unloving, and it always ends in some type of harm to someone.
Let's go to work!!