Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him. Ephesians 6:5-9
Overall, especially in this day and age, it seems that there is a shortage of people with good work ethics that pervades. Commonly, the average person is just working to get by, to be able to pay their bills, keep a house over their heads, and put food on the table. Obviously this is a generalization, as there are plenty of people who give the proverbial 110%, but countless times, I encounter sales clerks or cashiers who act like they are totally inconvenienced by their jobs and by me. It is hard to say if this issue is because people just don’t care or if they are tired of being bullied or unsupported by their employers.
According to Paul, this is not a new problem. In his letter to the church in Ephesus, he encouraged both the servants and their masters to have a change of heart in how they served each other. He reminded them, that regardless of their position in life, God views everyone without partiality, and expects the same from each of them. He shared the importance of serving from a sincere heart as if we are serving God directly, rather than man.
I love the way the Message Bible puts it:
Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God. Ephesians 6:6-7
As I read this, my spirit is checked. I am reminded of all the times, that I have performed my ‘duties’ out of obligation, instead of with joy. I often forget that my ultimate goal is to serve God. I get caught up in the unpleasantness of the job I have to do (I mean come on, who really loves to change dirty diapers, wash dishes by hand, or clean the house and umpteen number of times in a day), and forget that as I do the job with the right attitude, not only am honoring God, but I am also showing honor to the people who require my effort.
I am also remembering the times when I have approached a responsibility with a hearty and happy heart. In those moments, the work was no longer a burden, but became enjoyable. I was able to feel God’s presence, keeping my countenance lifted and my body strengthened. My service became an act of worship to the Lord.
Yesappa, Help me remember that everything I do, I do for You! Help me keep my eyes on the goal of honoring You by giving my all, rather than simply pretending to do my best to get people off my back. Give me joy in the midst of doing the things that aren’t always fun to do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.