Ephesians 6:5-8 - "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. 6 Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. 7 Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 8 Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free."
Working wasn't something I really wanted to begin doing in high school. I wanted to just be a kid and spend my free time however I saw fit. But I realized pretty quickly that if I wanted to pay for activities, clothes, gifts, or save any money for college expenses, I would have to earn more money somehow. And with that, I entered the working world.
Work isn't an evil thing or a punishment, although many of us often have that point of view. It can be difficult, for sure, and we may endure a season or two of jobs that don't suit us well, but there is purpose even in those times. Our experiences serve to stretch us, teach us, and grow us into the person we're meant to be.
We need to realize that we're called to submit to those in authority over us, to treat them with "deep fear and respect," no matter how we feel on any particular day. What would it look like for us to truly, deeply respect those we work for, trying to please them in everything we do, even when they're not watching? Reminding ourselves that we are to serve our earthly masters "as sincerely as we would serve Christ," we just might see some changes happen in our workplaces.
If we work diligently, as if we were working for the Lord, not for people, we will likewise turn into more committed, hardworking individuals who are more valuable. Whether we love our jobs or hate them, God has placed each of us in our unique circumstances to serve those around us, being His hands and feet to the world.
In serving others as if we are serving the Lord, we are serving Him, so it's like killing two birds with one stone. When we realize the amazing gift He gave us in His death, we ought to see our role as servants of others in a whole new light. If we think we're entitled to be served, we're in need of a little reality check. We're all flawed, broken people in need of a Savior. Those of us who have encountered Him have been burdened with the glorious purpose of sharing Him with those we interact with out of gratitude and obedience to Him. Because He loved and served, we love and serve. We can never out-give or out-serve Jesus, the Servant King. Everything we've been given is really His, and we're called to manage it well, which means sharing it with others who need it.
So how can you show respect for your earthly masters as a way of glorifying and serving your Heavenly Master?