How to Serve a Bad Boss

In Perspective, Work on January 23, 2014 by The Spillover

John Piper:

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. (Ephesians 6:7–8)

Consider these five things from Ephesians 6:7–8 in connection to your job.

1) A call to radically Lord-centered living.

It is astonishing compared to the way we usually live. Paul says that all our work should be done as work for Christ, not for any human supervisor. “With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men.”

This means that we will think of the Lord in what we are doing at work. We will ask, Why would the Lord like this done? How would the Lord like this done? When would the Lord like this done? Will the Lord help me do this? What affect will this have for the Lord’s honor? In other words, being a Christian means radically Lord-centered living.

2) A call to be a good person.

Lord-centered living means being a good person and doing good things. Paul says, “With good will render service . . . whatever good thing each one does . . .” Jesus said that when we let our light shine, men will see our “good deeds” and give glory to our Father in heaven.

3) Power to do a good job for inconsiderate earthly employers.

Paul’s aim is to empower Christians with Lord-centered motives to go on doing good for supervisors who are not considerate. How do you keep on doing good in a job when your boss ignores you or even criticizes you? Paul’s answer is: stop thinking about your boss as your main supervisor, and start working for the Lord. Do this in the very duties given to you by your earthly supervisor.

4) Encouragement that nothing good is done in vain.

Perhaps the most amazing sentence of all is this: “Whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord.” This is amazing. Everything. Every little thing you do that is good is seen and valued by the Lord.

And he will pay you back for it. Not in the sense that you have earned anything by putting him in your debt. He owns you and everything in the universe. He owes us nothing. But he freely, graciously chooses to reward good things done in faith.

5) Encouragement that insignificant status on earth is no hindrance to great reward in heaven.

The Lord will reward every good thing you do — “whether slave or free.”  Your supervisor may think you are a nobody. Or he may not even know you exist. That doesn’t matter. The Lord knows you exist.

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