Working for whom?
For years I’ve heard preachers tell me that when I’m at work I shouldn’t act like I work for my boss, but like I work for Jesus. Besides the irony of hearing this from someone whose boss actually is Jesus, I’ve always thought it impractical and downright difficult. It sounds great from behind a lectern, but how does it work in the real world?
Picture the scene: My boss asks me to work late to finish something off before an important meeting tomorrow. It’s 5.30pm, and I’m meant to be going to a prayer meeting tonight. Surely I should say no, and instead go to the prayer meeting?
Or another scenario – Things are a bit tight for you this month financially, and you’ve been praying for an answer to your needs. Your boss asks you to work on Sunday to help close out a project, and offers you double pay and a day off in lieu... what do you do?
Sometimes it’s not black and white, and there’s no direct answer for us in the Bible.
Joseph worked hard. (Genesis 37 -47) He was the definition of conscientious. No matter whom he was working for, and regardless of the benefits (or lack of), he worked as hard as he could. He always gave everything to the task he'd been given. This in itself is impressive, but more so is Joseph's refusal to give up. His situation went from bad, to worse, to much worse, yet he refused to stop working hard and continued to give his all.
Perversely, this wasn't even why he was given the role of Pharaoh’s Prime Minister. His hard work led to nothing but prison and being forgotten by ‘friends’.
Maybe we’re missing the point. Being a Christian in the workplace isn’t about choosing between working late and a prayer meeting. Being a Christian is about having a relationship with Jesus. Yes, Jesus would prefer it if I didn’t work Sunday. My friend would prefer it if I didn’t work late and miss dinner with him, but is he a good enough friend to let it slide? Of course. If everything the Bible says about God’s love for us is true, then how much more will God be willing to forgive us? Given that He already sacrificed so much on our behalf, this seems to make more sense than we expect. Is it possible that God is providing the finance you were praying for by giving you extra hours on Sunday? Joseph worked hard because he knew that was what God wanted him to do. It didn't benefit him at all, and yet God planned it as preparation for the second greatest job in all Egypt.
Sometimes we just need to knuckle down and work hard, and let God take care of our future. It’s our purpose to do our best with everything God has given us, and that includes our jobs. Only God knows what the future holds, and he has an incredible one prepared for us! (Jeremiah 29:11)
Perhaps instead of trying and failing to follow rules, we should actually seek Jesus and ask what he wants.
Chris (Author: Chris
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