“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.”Ephesians 6:5-9
I can think back in my life to the many bosses I have had. I have had some who were great, and I have has some who were not so great. I would say that either good or bad, they all had a significant impact upon my life. It seems you spend more time with those at work than you do sometimes your own family. I think of the blessings the good bosses have had in my life, but I also look to what God has taught me through the bad ones.
When I was 18, I moved to Chicago with my family. I had been there several months and needed a job. Our old pastor had picked up a painting job and recommended me to his boss. I was taken to the paint store to get outfitted for duty. My new boss purchased me two pair of white pants and then threw in some shirts as well. I was given a paint brush to borrow until I could purchase my own. My boss was a heavy smoker, and every part of me reeked with smoke after work. He was rough around the edges and had a “punch me in the face” expression that I came to despise.
I liked my job at first as my boss started to show me the ropes. I thought he was a bit crazy, but I guess he would have to be to hire a kid like me. We would do a lot of jobs around the city as his mom was an alderman and he was privy to the city contracts. I started to get better at painting, and he would leave me alone on job sites as he pursued other interests and jobs. He was a rough guy who was never wrong, and he sometimes allowed profanities to fly out like carbon dioxide. He would sometimes come to jobs and criticize me and my work in front of other people. He knew my buttons and he seemed to enjoy pushing them. I will say things often got heated, and I thought many times about taking a bat to him.
I worked for him until we got hired with the city about a year later, and then we had a final falling out. I allowed my work to suffer due to being angry at my boss, and would scoff at him at times. I would not work as hard as I should, and I would sometimes slack off. I failed to read and practice the commands listed in these Bible verses above, and I failed to realize who my Boss really was. I was working in comparison to how my boss treated me, and I was not working unto my Lord. I was not aiming to please God as I was only aiming to please myself. I was working for temporal praise and reward and my perspective was short sighted. I have had many bosses since then and God has used all of them in my life to grow me and teach me.
Where are you today, friend? How do you treat your boss? Do you obey them with fear and trembling as unto Christ? Do they know you are a Christian by the kind of employee you are? Do you work as unto the Lord? Are you known for your work ethic or are you known by your groaning and complaining? May we shine like the light God has called us to be, and may we be fervent in our work. May we not make excuses for our behavior, and may we always desire to please our God Boss no matter our human boss. May He remain the King in our life and may we work as unto Him.