“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” – Colossians 3:23
These words from Colossians 3:23 shouldn’t result in merely the surface reaction of working harder. Hard work in itself isn’t bad but it’s not the point here. More than striving to work harder, we should be compelled by the Spirit to do what’s right. This includes doing what’s right at work. No matter what the Lord has called us to do, we can always hope and try to do what’s right in His sight, not our sight.
Many people in our fallen world suffer from doing what’s right in their own eyes (myself included … though definitely not as much as when I was not a follower of Christ). With work being such a big part of people’s lives worldwide, sinning at work will have a direct spiritual on you and other people (co-workers, customers, clients). Here are some negative consequences for not turning from your work-related sin:
- First and foremost, all sin, anytime and anywhere, separates you from God. If not repented for, this separation from God will lead to a hardened heart. And a hardened heart keeps you from understanding and submitting to God’s truth.
- A sinful person can’t be trusted. Trustworthiness anchors healthy work relationships.
- Sin is self-serving. Good work is about serving others in some capacity. A self-centered person can’t serve others excellently. Playing politics and personal gain will become more important than doing what’s right in God’s eyes.
- The problems resulting from sin at work will distract you, hindering productivity. You will inevitably get behind and become more stressed.
- Your sin-filled, high-stress work days will negatively affect your home life (which is where people usually notice how their sin at work impacts life in general).
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Do what’s right in God’s eyes
“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” – Proverbs 15:3
“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” – Proverbs 21:2
God is omnipresent. He sees all. What you do at work is not hidden from Him. God is also the perfect judge. We all should be concerned with what the one-and-only all-powerful, all-seeing God says is right. We will get ourselves in big trouble if we do what seems right to us without considering what the Bible says. This is why reading and applying the Bible in our life is so important. When at work, it’s tempting to switch from “godly” to worldly mode. The same commands, put ons and put offs from the Bible that we hear in church and try to exhibit at home should be exhibited at work too.
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” – Romans 13:1
God always calls for His children to submit to the commands of authority as long as it doesn’t directly lead to sin. Supervisors and managers at work are authority. As an unsaved college student, I had big trouble submitting to authority at my jobs. With big entrepreneurial plans in mind, I always used the excuse that I was meant to work for myself. I’m positive that God didn’t like my mindset in those days. I missed out on many opportunities to learn useful on-the-job and life skills because of my pride. Submitting to the authority God has placed over us at work is righteous in God’s sight.
The Righteous Entrepreneur
Some of us are called to be entrepreneurs. This calling comes with greater responsibility. Entrepreneurs are to be concerned for the people working for them. Entrepreneurs must do what’s right as a business owner simply because it’s what God tells us to do. There are great blessings (not always monetary) that come from doing what’s right as a business owner. Paying your staff and vendors on-time is just one example of righteousness that’s expected from godly entrepreneurs. Serving your employees/contractors and clients/customers with love is righteousness that’s expected from godly entrepreneurs. Tough love is righteous as well! Don’t soften on your rules when they’re willfully broken. You should address them directly with a balance of firmness and grace. The Christian entrepreneur is responsible for fostering and leading a righteous workplace culture. Here are some of the benefits of doing what’s right as an entrepreneur:
- It pleases God! This is always good.
- It expedites the forming of a genuinely righteous company culture.
- It helps you build a trusted business brand from the inside out.
- It inspires your staff to do what’s right.
- It gives you the freedom to know that things will always ultimately work out for your good, no matter how grave things might seem.
The Freedom of Righteousness
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1
The working Christian feels good about doing good at work no matter the consequences. The working Christian doesn’t lie about finances or gossip about a boss or coworker. The working Christian is content and comfortable with the results from walking in the righteousness of Christ, even if it leads to negative worldly reactions from a fellow coworker or superior. We’re to be more concerned about what God sees than what people at work can or can’t see. This is the freedom in doing what’s right at work from a Christian perspective. This is contentment in Christ. Embrace this freedom and avoid slavery to sin.
I hope these words have blessed you greatly. God bless!