The Approved Workman Pt. 2 – The Christian Workman

Yesterday I focused on being a slug. I always find it enlightening to study what I shouldn’t be because it forces introspection to take place. I find myself asking the questions “Do I do that?” or “Do I practice that behavior?”. We also talked about the ant. I’m not going to focus on the ant but I am going to focus on what we are to do as Christians in the workplace.

As a word of encouragement, please remember we are called to be Salt of the Earth – we are to stand out from the normalcy of this world and make people crave the Living water (Christ). This comes from Matthew 5:13. I encourage you to make an effort to shine bright.

  1. Romans 12:11 “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” 

This verse seems a bit ambiguous but I enjoyed reading it because it brought imagery to my mind.

  • Don’t be slothful in zeal – it reminds me of the verse “Don’t grow weary of doing good so that at the proper time you may reap…” This verse tells me that we are to work hard in everything we do. Not just our jobs but our lives, our relationships with christ.
  • We are to be fervent – have you ever seen something fervent? It means to have great intensity or enthusiasm of spirit. Ever watched a good server do their job? You may just notice them getting what you need when you need it but as a server myself – I promise there is a fervency to the job (at least to those who care about customer service). You move faster than you thought you were able to at just a walk, remembering everything that needs to be done and making sure it happens in a timely fashion, directing your busser to the tables that need items cleared or replaced, asking the kitchen for food, refilling drinks. To be honest when I am working my shifts in the restaurant – I don’t even have time to go to the bathroom. We move like the ants and work hard. There isn’t time to be Idle. You must be Fervent! 
  • Serve the Lord. Slothfulness or being a slug as we learned yesterday really only serves one person – and it isn’t you. It serves the Devil. In this verse Paul tells us to be fervent – serving the Lord. What is the chief goal of man? To Glorify God. Serve the Lord, not with slothfulness but with a fervency of spirit.

2. Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

  • “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…” Everyone works for someone. Everyone serves someone. Those who are not serving Christ – and what I mean is the Christian who isn’t walking with Christ but is serving “himself” or the person who isn’t a Follower of Christ and is “self-serving” they are serving only the Devils end goals. Those who walk with Christ – seek his word, have a relationship with him – they serve the Lord. Paul tells us to work as if we are serving the Lord only, not man.
  • Why do we do this? We do it knowing that man may not reward us but that it is pleasing and honoring to God and that he will reward us in heaven.
  • By doing this we are serving the Lord.

3. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”

  • There are several commands given in this verse
  • Admonish the Idle – Counsel against idleness. I would encourage you before you just jump off to the deep end – make sure there is no idleness in you before you start telling others about theirs. Christians have an endless habit of being hypocritical. Don’t fall into that category. Look to your own issues first then branch and help guide – gently not with a stick in one hand and a boot in the other, make sure there is no idleness in you.
  •  Encourage the fainthearted, help the weak – sometimes we become idle because of discouragement. Don’t be discouraged “he who started a good work in you will finish it to completion.” I promise you that whatever God is doing in your heart will be worth it in the end but fight that good fight and don’t give up. For those who don’t need to hear that – maybe someone needs your encouragement – listen, pray, and then speak – encourage them to keep going. Encourage them not to be idle.
  • Be patient with them all – Everyone grows differently and at different rates. I had to remind the 9 yr old that I nanny of this the other day as he was telling me about a boy in his class that had a mustache. I’m not just talking physically either – everyone grows spiritually at different rates too. I know it can be frustrating to see them struggling with something you have overcome but you must be patient. Admonish, encourage, and help them as many times as you need to but make sure it’s during the spirits prompting and you are patiently doing so.

4. 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12 “For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.”

  • Ever hear the phrase “Idle hands are the devils handiwork”? I keep thinking about this as I’ve been reading about sluggishness. Any time someone sits for an extended period of time, it becomes easier to cause division, even if they don’t mean to.
  • “….Some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.” Busybodies – they cause dissension among others. Even if they don’t mean to they are doing things that are not becoming of one representing Christ. If you feel like you have extra time – why not volunteer?
  • Paul continues to say that they encourage and command people like that to do their work quietly. In other words stop gossiping, “sharing stories”, and “updating” each other on what has happened at work! Work quietly.

5. James 1:22 “But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

  • Not only are we to study God’s word and commit it to memory but we are to be “doers” – in other words don’t just read and listen – act on it!
  • It says if we aren’t doers we are deceiving ourselves.

 

In summary,

We are to:

  • Work quietly (And while it doesn’t say it – do it with a happy heart.
  • Work as if serving the Lord
  • Be doers and not only hearers of the word
  • Not be busybodies
  • Admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, and help the weak
  • We are to be fervent in our work for the Lord.

Please remember that our time on this earth is short and we are witnesses for Christ. Don’t give up!