Summary: Work place struggles today compared with the slavery of Paul’s time, understanding them, facing them with changed attitudes/hearts by the power of God’s Spirit, for a day of Pentecost in work-life.
How to be a Great Worker
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.
6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.
7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men,
8 because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
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.
A. Recognizing our problems
Life is a struggle, struggle in relationships with each other, wives, husbands, kids, work. The BIble does not treat life as an illusion, it addresses reality.
Is work-life a struggle?
Our current climate: Story of g-man who found genie who granted him 3 wishes and with the last wish being “I wish to be in a job where I don’t have to work anymore.” Poof! he is back at his desk in a government job. Like this story, it seems as I talk with people, we wish we don’t have to go to work. Look around, there seems to be an abundance of that feeling. Almost everywhere there’s labor unrest. Workers of every stripe from people who are at McDonalds to doctors to nurses to assembly line workers … no one is really happy. With so many pressures from public sector cuts, softwood dispute, an economy that’s slow here in comparison with the rest of Canada. How can we be great workers in a climate like this? If Barney the dinosaur lives here, he will have a hard time singing his songs.
There is not much trust in the workplace. This past week: as reported in USA TODAY May 14, 2002, “Bosses crack down on expense reports” - employers are increasingly scrutinizing workers’ phone calls, corporate credit card charges and expense reports. Why? Because of the many abuses by their employees. Is there not quite a bit of tussling between employers and employees? According to the USA Today article, “Workers have used corporate credit cards for online porn visits, home stereo system and a car engine.” A former secretary at New York-based Bear Stearns pleaded guilty this year to using erasable ink to cheat her boss out of about $800,000. Anamarie Giambrone allegedly wrote out personal checks on a managing director’s behalf, then erased the payee’s name with the trick pen. She faces two to six years in prison.
Nearly 45% of employers monitor the time that workers spend on the phone and the numbers that are called, according to an American Management Association study. That’s up from 35% in 1994. Businesses will lose an estimated 6% of revenue — $600 billion this year — due to employee fraud and abuse, according to an April report by the Austin-based Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. "It’s hard to look at the people you work with as thieves, but losses in small businesses can be catastrophic," says Joseph Wells, association chairman. "Some have had to close their doors." The whole Enron fiasco pours more oil into the fire into the issue of “can we trust our bosses”. Bosses workers everyone is feeling big-time pressure.
Then there is work-life balance. In a recent report by Linda Duxbury of Carleton University’s School Of Business. Ottawa, and Chris Higgins of the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, London, entitled “Work-Life Balance in the New Millennium: Where are We? Where Do we need to Go?,” the authors claimed that many Canadians are finding it very difficult to balance their roles in life as employer, employee, parent and spouse. This shows up in increased workloads, more stress, declining physical and mental health, increased absenteeism, lower job satisfaction and lower commitment to employers. Duxbury says: “Our data demonstrate that the inability to balance work and family life is everyone’s problem. It hurts the employer, the employee, the employee’s colleagues, the employee’s family and Canadian society as a whole.” Estimated absenteeism from work-life conflict costs Canadian firms almost $3 billion a year, which results in extra visits to the doctor adding $ 425million annually to the cost of health care.
And what about all the office politics, the personality clashes, the dangerous jobs such as police and firemen where your life could be on the line.
Is our work-life a struggle? How can anyone be a great worker in an environment like this? this whole thing of being a great worker is a very live issue in our day and time. If things aren’t working well in the work world it can be damaging to our lives and if we buy into Linda Duxbury’s conclusion, all of Canada, all of life will be affected in one way or another.