THE CHRISTIAN AT WORK

A Study of the Christian and His Work Related Responsibilities

Lesson Eighteen

Memory Verse:  Romans 12:11                                Lesson Verse:  1 Corinthians 10:31

 

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."  1 Corinthians 10:31

 

I.         Introduction

 

A.      The Bible has a great deal to say about how you are to conduct yourself on your job, either as an employee, or an employer. About one-fourth of a person's adult life is spent on a job. It is essential for the Christian to learn how the Lord would have you work, and fulfill your responsibilities there. Be careful not to restrict your Christian testimony to just church and home.

B.       This lesson is intended to help you be the type of employee, or employer that God would have you to be.

 

II.       Basic Principles

 

A.      All Christians are Supposed to Work - not be Lazy!

 

1.        Mankind was made to work (Gen 2:15; 3:17-19).

2.        Primarily at home for a woman (Titus 2:3-5; 1Tim 5:13,14).

3.        Primarily on a job for a man (2 Thes 3:10-12).

4.        God hates laziness, idleness, slothfulness (Prov 6:6-11; Rom 12:11)!

 

B.       All Christians are Servants of the Lord. In other words: ďServe your Lord throughout your entire day at home, and at workĒ

 

1.        Romans 1:1 says that the Christian's primary job is to serve ___________. So, when we labour at anything, we do it for HIM!

2.        Serving God is to be all the time - not just when you go to church (1Pet 3:15; 2 Tim 4:2). We need to SERVE by doing things for others!

3.        The Bible is very clear that every saved person is an integral part of a local church, and that each member's contribution is vital to that local fellowship of believers. God expects every Christian to be involved in doing the Lord's work by witnessing, and caring about the needs of others (1 Cor 12:12,13; Eph 4:11-16).

 

C.       A Job is What God Gives You so that you Can Serve

 

1.        Your first ministry is to your ____________ (1 Tim 3:1,4,5; 5:8). The world says it is first to your self!

2.        Your second ministry is to your church family (Gal 6:10; Heb 10:25).

3.        Your third ministry is to reach the lost (2 Cor 5:18,20).

 

Your job in life is meant by God to financially support all of the above ministries. But, without your job, you will be very limited in serving God in the above ministries. Donít let Satan trick you into laziness, and defeat.

 

D.      Your Attitude at Home or at Work is Critical to Your Testimony

 

1.        Attitudes toward your job. You should view your job as a ministry opportunity, not just a job.

 

a.        For most Christians, your fellow workers (or your neighbours) are the greatest exposure you have to unsaved people. Your life may be the only true witness of the Lord Jesus that they may ever see.

 

1)       You are a _________ representing Jesus Christ in a dark world (Matt 5:14-16)

2)       Your life should reflect and demonstrate the Bible in living colour (2 Cor 3:2)!

 

b.       A mother has the greatest opportunity to present Christ to their children! Don't let anybody demean motherhood!

c.        You will have a much greater influence on those you spend the most time with. Although total strangers are surely an opportunity for a witness, those who can see a consistent testimony of a Christian's life are much easier to win.

 

2.        Attitudes toward the company and management you work for:

 

a.        Serve in your job as if ______________ was your employer (Eph 6:5-8; Col 3:22-24). Have a grateful attitude at work! Don't get caught up in the complaining that normally goes on! The same is true among women - donít get caught up complaining around other women about your family, and the work load!

b.       Respect the authority of your employer's position. Obviously no employer will be correct on every point, and you certainly can disagree with them, but you are to submit to their leadership, using it as an opportunity to show them a testimony of the Lord (Titus 2:9,10). This only goes until they cross clear Biblical lines of right and wrong (Example of being asked to sell liquor, etc.).

c.        Respect your company's property. Care for it as if it was yours. It does not belong to you, so do not "partake" (Lev 19:11)!

d.       Respect your company's time. Do eight hours of work for eight hours of pay (2 Cor 8:21; Col 3:22). Be efficient! Also, you are getting paid to work, not witness. Use appropriate times to talk about the Lord (like on breaks, etc.).

e.        You are to do the very best that you can to help the company succeed and make your employer look good (Rom 12:11; 1 Cor 10:24; Prov 10:4). Joseph is the greatest example of this principle in the Bible (see Genesis chapters 39-50 as they record his life).

f.         Mind your own __________ (to a limit), and don't let someone else's laziness affect your work (1 Thes 4:11; 2 Thes 3:10-13).


E.       What About Those Under Your Leadership?

 

1.        Are you treating your people justly and equally? Do you set standards for them which you refuse to keep yourself? (See Col 4:1; Eph 6:9)

2.        Are you consumed by your own self-interests without considering the needs of those employees around you (Philp 2:3,4)?

3.        Are you defrauding your employees (taking unfair advantage of them) so that they suffer, and you donít? See James 5:1-5.

4.        Even in a position of leadership, you should always maintain the attitude of a _________ (Mark 10:42-45). Remember that Jesus, the Lord of Lords, came to minister, and was a servant!

 

III.     Some Issues to Settle[CL1]

 

A.      "What if my job conflicts with spiritual things?"

 

1.        There will always be some conflict of priorities between church activities and your work schedule. You cannot quit your job and take time off work because of a few minor conflicts. Remember, your job is a ministry opportunity. However, you must not use your job as an excuse to neglect your responsibilities to your church. You must maintain a right balance in this area.

2.        When your job responsibilities are contrary to Bible principles, then you must draw the line (Acts 5:27-29):

 

a.        Refuse to lie or steal for your employer, or violate other clear commandments of God.

b.       Guard against temptations on the job (flirting, loafing, complaining, loosing your testimony, etc.).

c.        Don't be influenced by sinful activities around you.

d.       Refuse to do things that you know are contrary to the Bible

 

1)       Selling __________ drink (Hab 2:15)

2)       Manufacturing and selling ________ (Acts 19:24)

3)       Selling Pornography, or even things doubtful (Rom 14:23)

4)       Working on Sunday just so you can get more money.

 

3.        IDEA Ė if you just canít find a decent job, that allows you to be a Christian, then you ought to consider STARTING your OWN BUSINESS!

 

B.       "How do I find the right job that God wants me to have?"

 

1.        Have you taken the matter to God in prayer (James 1:5; Phil 4:6,7)?

2.        Will the new job destroy what God is trying to develop in your life? You may have an area in your life that God may be focusing on through a co-worker or employer, and if you change jobs, you may be escaping God's refining process.

3.        If you are having to move, or being asked to move to another city, is there a church there which can provide for your spiritual needs?

4.        If you have a job, but are looking for a job, ask yourself, "Am I running away from something I should be facing and trying to correct?"

 


C.       "How do I handle persecution on the job?"

 

1.        Most "persecution" in our culture is a result of the Christian's own ignorance or lack of personal commitment to the Lord. If you are being "persecuted," it is probably for one of two reasons: your behavior is improper, or your testimony is offensive to someone (1Pet 3:16,17). If it is the latter, don't worry, that is how the Light of the gospel is perceived by the world - as an offense.

2.        Expect a certain amount of adversity from the world if you are truly serving Jesus Christ (2Tim 3:12).

3.        Learn how to commit that adversity to the Lord, and leave it in His hands to resolve (1Pet 2:18-23).

 

D.      "Don't I always deserve a promotion, or a better job?"

 

1.        Are you trying to be a leader over too many things? Consider the following points whenever a promotion or transfer opportunity presents itself:

 

2.        A great Bible principle is, "He that is faithful in that which is __________ is faithful also in __________..." (Luke 16:10). Be sure that you can handle what you have now well. And then go further.

3.        The more responsibility that you have, the more potential there is for problems to arise (James 3:1; Eccl 8:9).

4.        The more responsibilities that you have, the more time and energy is demanded. Be sure that your new responsibilities will not hinder your service for God (not having adequate time for family, church, and your primary ministries; 2 Tim 2:4). Maintain a balance in your life.

5.        Ambition is: ďA strong desire to achieve (accomplish) something.Ē Like aspiration. Ambition is the drive behind human effort. Without ambition, human effort has no goal, or purpose. Effort becomes only tasks, and requires task-masters to complete. The book of Proverbs gives Godís best advice on ambition and life goals.

 

a.        Wrong Ambitions

 

1)       To only provide for self, and your own happiness (Gen 3:5,6)

2)       To dominate (3 John 1:9,10; Mark 9:33,34; Luke 20:46)

3)       To love _________, instead of labour (1 Tim 6:10; Eccl 5:12)

 

b.       Right Ambitions (1Tim 6:5-7). People should have right ambition

 

1)       To provide for ______, and the future (1Tim 5:8; 2Thes 3:10)

2)       To do oneís best (1 Kings 3:7-14), with Godís help.

3)       To please ________ (2 Tim 2:3-5)

4)       To store up _____________ in heaven (Matt 6:19,20)