Friday, April 22, 2022
After challenging employees to serve their employers with respect and to give them their best at all times, the Apostle Paul lays out clearly the responsibility of the employer to the employee. If the environment of the workplace is to be one of peace, prosperity, and fulfillment, the employer is urged to treat his employees in the same way he expects to be treated by them.
Ephesians 6:9 “And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.”
As I thought about that, I concluded that the workplace, when owned, operated, or managed by a Christian, should be a microcosm of the kingdom of God. What’s the kingdom going to be like? According to the teachings of Jesus…
- It will be a place of no favoritism and no discrimination. It will be filled with humble people – Matthew 5:3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
- There will be unity – Matthew 12:25 – “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined.”
- It will be pure and righteous – Matthew 13:41 – “The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.”
- According to the parable Jesus taught in Matthew 18 about the king who forgave a debt, the kingdom of God will be a place of grace and mercy.
- In Matthew 21 Jesus tells us that the kingdom will be productive.
- And according to Matthew 25, when Jesus tells the parable of the women waiting for the bridegroom, the kingdom of God is filled with people who are looking to the future and prepared for what it might bring.
Now apply those highlights of the kingdom of God to the workplace. The responsibility of the employer becomes clear.
First, be humble. Consider others better then yourself. When I was in business I had a boss who trained me for management who taught me a very important lesson about leadership. He said, “Great leaders are people who surround themselves with people who are better than themselves.” It is not the role of the employer to be the best at everything. It is the privilege of the leader to bring the best out in others.
Second, create unity. Keep people on the same path. Establish goals that are clear and understood and keep everyone focused on those goals. Any dissention is immediately handled by clear communication of the objectives. Any dissenter is dealt with individually. This keeps the workplace pure and righteous.
Third, Godly employers treat their employees with grace and mercy. There is compassion. Threats don’t exist. Encouragement and understanding abound.
Fourth, the employer requires productivity. But before he enforces it, he models it. Employees respond to leaders who do what they say.
And finally, great employers clearly present the vision for the future to the employees and provide them with the means to accomplish it. They anticipate change and prepare for it. Leaders in the workplace don’t get so wrapped up in managing the present that they lose sight of the future.
As an employer you have the privilege of representing Christ to your employees. Do that without favoritism, just as Christ did for you.