Lesson 12: Employers & Employees

"What Should Be My Attitude Toward My Job and My Employer?"

The Bible has a great deal to say about how you are to conduct yourself on your job. Spending about one-forth of our adult life on the job, it is essential to learn how the Lord Jesus Christ would have you look at this area of your responsibilities. If you intend to be an effective servant of God, you must do so with all your life and not just three-fourths of it.

This lesson is designed to help you be the type of employee (or Employer) that God would have you to be.

All Saved People Are Called to "Full-Time Christian Service"

    1. The Bible says your vocation is to serve Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:1).
    2. The Bible is very clear that every saved person is an integral part of the body of Christ and that each member's contribution is important. God expects every Christian to be involved in the Lord's work (1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 4:11-16).
    3. Your service for God is to be at all times, not just when you go to church (1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 4:2).

The Primary Purpose of Your Job Is to Support Your Ministry

    1. Of course, your first ministry is to your family (1 Timothy 3:5; 5:8).
    2. Your second ministry is to your church family (Galatians 6:10).
    3. Your third ministry is to reach the lost (2 Corinthians 5:20).
    4. As we saw in a previous lesson, your resources should be yielded to God's service. Those resources are to be used to glorify God through the above three areas.

What Should Be My Attitude Toward My Job

You should view your job as a ministry opportunity, not just as a job.

    1. For most Christians, your fellow workers are the greatest exposure you have to unsaved people.
    2. Your life may be the only true witness of the Lord Jesus Christ they ever see.
      1. You are a light representing Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:14-16).
      2. Your life should reflect the Bible (2 Corinthians 3:2).
    3. You will have a much greater influence on those you spend the most time with. Although total strangers are surely an opportunity for a witness, those who can see a consistent testimony of a Christian's life are much easier to win.

What Attitudes Should I Have toward My Supervisors and the Company I Work For?

    1. Serve as if the Lord Jesus Christ was your employer (Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:22-24).
    2. Respect the authority of their position. Obviously, no employer will be correct in every point. You certainly can disagree with them. However, you are to submit to their leadership, using it as an opportunity to show them a testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ (Titus 2:9-10).
    3. Respect your company's property. It does not belong to you (Leviticus 19:11).
    4. Respect your company's time. Do eight hours of work for eight hours of pay (2 Corinthians 8:21; Colossians 3:22).
    5. You are to do the very best you can to help the company succeed and make your employer look good (Romans 12:11; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Proverbs 10:4; 18:9; 21:25; 22:29). Joseph is the greatest example of this in the bible (Genesis 39-50).
    6. Mind your own business, and don't let someone else's laziness affect you (1 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13).

The Bible Also Shows the Employer or Supervisor How to Relate to Those Under His Leadership

    1. Do I treat my people justly and equally? Do I set standards for them which I refuse to keep myself (Colossians 4:1; Ephesians 6:9)?
    2. Am I consumed by my own self-interests without considering the needs of those around me (Philippians 2:2-3)?
    3. Am I trying to be a leader over too many things? Remember to consider the following points whenever a promotion or transfer opportunity presents itself
      1. A great Bible principle is, "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much..." (Luke 16:19). Be sure you can handle what you have now.
      2. Realize the more responsibility you have, the more potential there is for problems to arise (James 3:1; Ecclesiastes 8:9).
      3. Realize the more responsibilities you have, the more time and energy is demanded. Be sure your new responsibilities will not hinder your service for God (2 Timothy 2:4).
    4. Even in a position of leadership, you should always maintain the attitude of a servant (Mark 10:42-45).

Basic Questions

    1. What if my job conflicts with spiritual matters?
      1. There will always be some conflict of priorities between church activities and your work schedule. You cannot quit your job and take time off work because of a few minor conflicts. Remember, your job is a ministry opportunity. However, you must not use your job as an excuse to neglect your responsibilities to your church. You must maintain a balance in this area.
      2. When your job responsibilities are contrary to bible principles, then you must draw the line:
        1. Refuse to lie or steal for your employer or violate other clear commandments of God.
        2. Guard against temptations on your job.
        3. Don't be influenced by sinful activities around you.
    2. How do I handle "persecution" on the job?
      1. Most "persecution" in our culture is a result of the Christian's own ignorance or lack of personal commitment to the Lord. If you are being "persecuted," it is for one of two reasons: your behavior is improper, or your testimony is an offense to someone (1 Peter 3:16-17).
      2. Expect a certain amount of adversity from the world if you are truly serving Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 3:12).
      3. Learn how to commit that adversity to the Lord (1 Peter 2:18-3).
    3. What should I consider when looking for employment?
      1. Have you taken the matter to God in prayer (James 1:5; Philippians 4:6-7)?
      2. Will the new responsibility destroy what God is trying to build in your life? this is a complex question. Don't be afraid to seek wise counsel in this area from another brother in Christ that you respect.
      3. If you are being asked to move to another city, is there a church there which can continue to provide your spiritual needs? This is an extremely critical point!
      4. In looking for a change of jobs, are you running away from something you should be facing and trying to correct.

Key Memory Verses

"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier" (2 Timothy 2:4).

"And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. for even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (mark 10:44-45).

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men" (Colossians 3:23).

Additional thoughts

In our society today, some common beliefs are:

    1. Your job is just a paycheck.
    2. Your job status is the most important measure of your success.
    3. Your employer must always take a back seat to church activities.

From the Bible principles taught in this lesson, you should understand that these teachings are false, and why.