God's word in today's world

All of us bosses. What now?


Ephesians 6:1-9

Paul instructed the workers well on how they, as Christians, should give their best to their employers. Next in line are the bosses, or rather those who employ others. I want to define the term boss so that you can see that you are also a boss. Whenever you pay someone for rendering a service that person works for you.

Let’s take a waiter. He serves your food and if he does it well, you will reward him with 10% commission. You’re actually his boss. The people working in and around your house, the electrician or plumber or handyman the guy from the garden services are all employed by you for a period. Even the people who look after your children work for you in a way, because you pay them for their services.

The big question is how they experience you as their boss?

We are quick to point fingers when the people we work for are rude or when they pay us the minimum wage, wanting to get blood from a stone. Maybe we should just stop one day and ask those that we pay money to how they find us as employer.

9Masters, it’s the same with you. No abuse, please, and no threats.

The phrase “it’s the same with you” refers to previous verses where workers were requested to work as if for God. They have to work as of God is their boss. We have to treat the people who do a job for us with this same attitude. We should actually serve the people who serve us.

We must be like Jesus and in everything give them more. More than the wage they earn. Do you know how good it is for someone to be treated with dignity? Just that. Treat someone in a way that you add value to him or her as human being – so that they enjoy rendering the service and want to work for you again, because they receive so much more than what they earn.

Then you don’t have to scream and shout to get people to work. Then you don’t have to use destructive methods to get your pound of flesh from people. 9 … and no threats. You and your servants are both under the same Master in heaven. He makes no distinction between you and them.

At university I always found it funny that those lecturers who did not teach well had to force people to attend class by doing roll call. Those lecturers who presented well had full classes. They did not have to threaten their students with roll call into attending class.

Some bosses also have to check on others all the time, while other bosses’ employees even take work home…

What do you expect of your boss? Surely that he would remunerate you well for the work that you do. But more than that. We expect to be treated like human beings and not made to feel inferior. We want the circumstances in which we work to add value to how we feel and that we’ll walk away with a good feeling.

A friend of mine asked me to help him with one of his employees. She struggled and she was very stressed. He was concerned about her and wondered what he could do to help her. He wondered about her circumstances at home and whether things were going well there.

Before I said anything to him about his employee, I stopped everything and told him what a wonderful example he was to me of how an employer should work with his people. In a way I could see a piece of Jesus the way he was acting.

May we make exactly that true for the people working for us. May we witness strongly for God in the way we treat our employees. May people want to work with and for us because we live Jesus.

Reflection

What do you expect from your boss?

Do you give that to those who work for you?

Do others see Jesus through you?

Prayer

Father, I realize I have to be an example everywhere of the way your follower should live. I also know that I don’t always succeed. Please help me so that everyone I come into contact with every day will experience You through the way I live. Amen

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