Work with respect
A few years have passed since I’ve left the business world behind. There were good times, but also challenging times when the cash flow wasn’t flowing that well. I learned a lot about business. About suppliers who would’ve liked to help, but also about debtors you had to beg to get your money for services rendered.
What I liked most about the business world were the people. I could make a difference in many of their lives and many people made a huge impact in my life. So many. Some of them might have worked there for a month or a week only; others much longer than myself.
After all the years I still remember their names. As their names pop up in my mind, I can also see their faces. I enjoy these memories and seeing their smiles in my mind.
I wondered why I would remember each of them. And then I realised they were all such good employees. They did their work well. You could see that they enjoyed doing it. They always first finished their work before going home. They did more than what was expected of them.
I still remember Nimrod. A man of few words, but always with a smile on his face. He was punctual and at his post every morning. He did his work without complaint, and always on the lookout to see where he could help others.
One weekend when we had to work overtime, I took him home. I was surprised to see how far from work he stayed. I was even more surprised when he told me that he had to get up just after four to take a taxi to the station, get on another train somewhere, and then walk three kilometres to the factory. Tonight, he does the reverse and never gets home before eight.
Nimrod was a simple man, but for me he is a super example of Paul’s description of a good employee: 9Guide slaves into being loyal workers, a bonus to their masters—no back talk, no petty thievery.
Even on the two wine farms where I worked there were many employees you could ask to come and help any time of the day or night, and they would be there. OK, you knew you would have to avoid some of them on a Monday morning.
The common factor: respect. We treated each other with respect. I honoured them for who they were and for the work they did. It didn’t matter what training they had and how much education, if a person did his or her work right, I had respect for them.
But these blue-collar people taught me about doing that little bit extra. Many times, they volunteered to do things that weren’t part of their job description. What a great pleasure it was to have these people as part of the workforce!
And that is what we as Cristian employees should do. We have to find places where we can do more, even if it is not always noticed. Then others will have respect for us and also notice something of God.
If I should go to your colleagues and ask what they learn from you, what would it be?
Do they see God in your way of working?
Do people respect you?
Lord, please help me to be a witness for You, especially in the way I do my work. Even If I’m not rewarded for it, I know You see everything. Amen.