Remedy For The Workplace
Do a good job and shine for Jesus -- that's our calling.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing all right? Oh, I trust so, bless your heart. I’m so grateful for the privilege of ministering, by way of radio, to those of you who are listening in so many different cities across our country.
You and I have been looking at first Timothy. We’re now starting in chapter six, first Timothy chapter six, Paul said, “Let as many servants as are under the yoke, count their own masters worthy of all honor, at the name of God and His Doctrine, be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren, but rather do them service, because they are faithful, and beloved partakers of the benefit.” That’s the benefit of being a Christian, “These things teach and exhort.”
That’s an interesting passage, isn’t it? And I think, straight off, you have to realize that Paul never told any slave to rebel against his master, and he uses the word slave ‘doulos.’ He sent one slave back, do you remember that story? Philemon, the letter to Philemon, was written concerning a runaway slave. Yes, it was. And he sent the man back to his master. “I beseech thee,” said he, “For my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten right here while I’m in jail, which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now, profitable to thee and to me. And I’ve sent him again to you, so receive him, just as you would my own heart. Receive him, not now, as a servant only, but above a servant, a brother beloved.”
See, he didn’t tell him, “Hey, look, you’re a Christian. You don’t have to go back and be a slave.” No, he sent him right back to the man from whom he had run away. What does that say to us? Well, I don’t know what it says to you, but I have to, as I read my Bible, I have to realize that Paul the Apostle never told the people, who in that day were under servitude, he never told ’em to rebel. He told ’em to live for Christ, in that context.
Now, you and I hate slavery. Thank God, slavery, as an institution, was abolished in the last century. We still have plenty of discrimination, don’t we? I’m talking to people, in this very radio audience, who everyday gets shoved around, and discriminated against, either because of their national origin, or the color of their skin, or the language they speak, or whatever it may be. I know that. We have a long way to go, even in the US. Those of you who are pushed around day by day, you know it better than anybody else, bless your heart. I know that.
We’re against slavery, and we’re against all the violations of human rights that we see around us, and we are for human freedom, and human dignity, and the right to be one’s own person, the right to speak, and the right to worship, and the right to public assembly, and freedom. Generally, we’re for that, aren’t we? Yes, thank God, we are. But Paul said, “Look, God’s rule is, if you’re in a situation, shine where you are,” that’s what he’s saying here. “Let as many servants as are under the yoke, count their masters worthy of all honor.” He says, “Listen, your master is not a Christian, but if you goof off, if you don’t give him good service, he is going to take it out, not on you only, but on your God.” He says, “In order that the name of God and His Doctrine be not blasphemed.”
What happens when a Christian goofs off on the job? The criticism comes, not only to the person who is at fault, but also to the God, whom he claims to serve. “What kind of a Christian is that? Is that what a Christian does, huh? Takes too long a coffee break, comes late to work, leaves early, and does a shoddy job, is that what a Christian means? Deliver me.” The unsaved take it out on God when you and I fail, you follow that? “Why should I do a good job, even if my boss is impossible, if he’s not a believer, if he’s godless, if he wants no share in anything that has to do with God, or Heaven, or salvation, or whatever? If he’s against all that, what is my duty?” Do a good job and shine for Jesus. You may be the only contact God has in that whole shop. Your job is not to goof off, and certainly, not to criticize. Your job is to shine for the Lord. Why? Because if you don’t, the unbelieving boss’ll take it out on your God, as well as you.
Then he says, “They that have believing masters.” In our context, we don’t have slavery and masters today, thank God, so we say, “Employees and employers.” If he says, “If you got an employer, a boss who’s a Christian, don’t despise him, because he’s a Christian. Don’t take advantage of him, because he’s a Christian. But rather, do them service, because they’re faithful, and beloved, and they are partakers of the benefit of being in God’s family.” “You belong to their family, so you better treat ’em right,” that’s what Paul is saying. What is the New Testament theory of labor and management relations, huh? The boss has to shine for the Lord, because he is a Christian. He has to be fair and he has to do the right thing by his employees. But the employee, because he’s a Christian, needs to give faithful service. A dollar’s worth of work for a dollar’s worth of pay. Do you follow that? Well, that’s what he said. “If your boss is a Christian,” verse two of chapter six, “Don’t put him down, because he is a Christian. Don’t take advantage of him, because he’s your brother in Christ, but rather, be faithful in your service, because he belongs to the same family you do.”
Now, you see, that’s gonna make a big difference in your attitude toward the job. Some of you, I know, are working at almost impossible jobs. I know this, because you’ve written to me, different ones of you. Somebody has a boss, that you cannot possibly please him. Everything you do, he finds fault with it, he puts you down, he criticizes you, he never encourages you. And it’s just impossible, and sometimes you feel like giving up. Matter of fact, sometimes, if you had another job to go to, you’d quit in a minute and go someplace else, wouldn’t you? Now, you’re a Christian. You may be the only Christian in the shop, maybe the only person in that whole setup that knows the Lord. What is your duty? Your duty is to be so full of the Spirit of God, so faithful in your service, so careful to walk softly before God, and to have a life that’s above reproach, that that unbelieving boss is going to have to notice, by and by, that the kind of person you are, is proof that Jesus is real.
“Be thou an example of the believers,” said he. In what you say, and how you live, in the atmosphere of influence around your life, in Calvary love flowing out of your heart, in faith that you have in God, and in holy living, you’ll be an example of what a Christian really ought to be. That’s my job. If I’ve got a difficult, godless boss, I have to shine for Jesus. I have to live more carefully, than otherwise. He says, “Herein, do I exercise myself,” this is Paul talking, “Herein, do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God and toward men, giving no offense.” This is second Corinthians six, “Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed.” See, as I said to you a moment ago, unbelieving people take it out on God. They use my failings as an excuse to criticize God.
David sinned one day, he greatly sinned. And the prophet Nathan came to him, and he said, “By this thing, you have given occasion to the enemies of God to blaspheme.” When the news got out, people criticized, not only David, in his sin, but they criticized the God whom he served. You wanna think about that the next time you’re tempted to compromise on something, the next time you’re tempted to give this job that you’re doing, what we call the ‘short method,’ just give it a lick and a promise? The next time you’re tempted to lower your personal standards, you wanna think about that? It’s not only doing harm to you, or to your job, or to your company, but it’s giving the critics of God a chance to criticize Him, and to take it out on Him, because of your failings.
Boy, that is a strong truth, and I need, just as you do, to think about it, and meditate on it, and apply it to my life. Well, he said, “These things teach and exhort.” Teaching has to do with showing people the Truth, in a manner that makes it possible for them to decide for themselves. Exhortation has to do with persuasion, so that they feel the gentle pressure of the Holy Spirit of God working in their lives. You’re never through with your job, until you have led your class, if you’re teaching your congregation, if you’re a pastor, until you have led people to make a decision on their own, based on the Word of God, based on the conviction of the Holy Spirit of God, teaching and exhorting.
Now, he says, “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Doctrine, which is according to Godliness, he’s proud knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strife of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men, who have corrupt minds, and destitute of the Truth, supposing that gain is godliness. From such, withdraw thyself. Godliness with contentment is great gain.” Interestingly enough, [chuckle] interestingly enough, the base of all of that list of failings, he starts with false teaching, “If any man teach otherwise, consent not to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Doctrine, which is according to Godliness.”
“Anybody that teaches otherwise.” Well, he’s got all these different failings. He’s proud, he’s doting about questions, and strife, which stirs up envy, and strife, and railings, and evil surmisings, and perverse disputings, and so on. But you know what it ends up with? Money. 99% of the time, where you have heresy to deal with, you’ll find that money is involved. “The love of money,” verse 10, he says, later on, “Is the root of all evil.” Money. Stay close to the Truth of God. Stay close to the Word of God. And let God control your purse strings, in the process of keeping your heart warm, and tender toward Him. Oh, we’ll get at this some more, the next time we get together.
Dear Father, today, oh, help us to do a good job on our job. Help us to shine for Jesus. Help us to stay true to your Word. I ask in the Savior’s name, Jesus, our Lord, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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