Summary: Practical advice from I Peter on how to be a good worker and revolutionize your attitude toward your job or your schoolwork.
In today’s world, it’s tough to find a good job. If find yourself looking for a job, take your time when you fill out your application form. Make sure all your words are spelled correctly. One wrong or misspelled word might prevent you from being hired. Here are some actual statements taken from job applications:
1. I served as an assistant sore manager
2. Education: I went to school on a fool scholarship
3. I am very detale oriented
4. I am a rabid typist
5. I was involved in ruining an entire Midwest division
6. Reason for leaving previous job: Pushed aside so Vice-President’s girl friend could steal my job.
7. On a Federal Government job application there was a question: “Do you favor the overthrow of the United States government by force, subversion, or violence?” Apparently this person thought it was a multiple choice because they wrote: “Violence.”
Once you get a job, it may be tough to keep it because sometimes supervisors can be rather critical. These are actual statements from employee evaluations:
1. Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.
2. This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.
3. Slipped into the gene pool when the lifeguard wasn’t watching.
4. She brings a lot of joy when she leaves the room.
5. Some drink from the fountain of knowledge–he only gargled.
6. If brains were taxed, he’d get a rebate.
7. Gates are down; lights are flashing; but the train isn’t coming.
The Bible is not an ancient book of outdated stories. It’s a love letter from God in which He gives us specific directions about life. In this passage, He gives us practical advice on how to be good workers. Peter addressed these words to “slaves” so you might be tempted to think they don’t apply to us. Dr. William Barclay describes the historical setting for this time:
“In the time of the early church there were as many as 60,000,000 slaves in the Roman Empire. Doctors, teachers, musicians, actors, secretaries, and stewards were slaves. It would be wrong to think that the lot of slaves was always wretched and unhappy, and that they were always treated with cruelty. Many slaves were loved and trusted members of the family; but one great inescapable fact dominated the whole situation. In Roman law, a slave was not a person but a thing; and he had absolutely no legal rights whatsoever.” (Letters of James and Peter, pp. 210-211)
Although the words in this passage are addressed to slaves, these principles can be applied to employee/employee relations. The Old Testament is full of laws, but the New Testament is full of principles. There are only two laws in the New Testament. Jesus said we are to love the Lord God with all of our being, and we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. He said “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:40) When you read the New Testament, don’t look for laws to obey, search for life principles that show you how to live. This passage can also be applied to students and teachers. For all of you who are children and teenagers, your “current job” is being a student. So this message for you is “how to be cool with school.” If you’re retired, you still work with people–whether it’s at church or with some other organization. These words are for anyone who relates to other people in any organization. Here’s what God says in 1 Peter 2:18-20:
Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and endure it, this is commendable before God.
Most people in America live by the mantra, “Thank God It’s Friday.” Why, they don’t really like their jobs. Around here we say, “Thank God It’s Sunday.” But you don’t hear too many people saying, “Thank God It’s Monday!” Instead we have songs about “Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day.” Or “It’s just another Manic Monday.” Let me share with you three important biblical Principles that can revolutionize your attitude toward your job or your schoolwork.
1. APPROACH YOUR WORK AS IF JESUS IS YOUR BOSS
What would happen tomorrow if you arrived at work or school and Jesus was your Boss or your Teacher? Would that make a difference in your attitude? If you are a follower of Jesus, the Bible says that SHOULD be your attitude. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (Colossians 3:23) The Message paraphrase says: “Don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being Christian doesn’t cover up bad work.” If you approach your work and school as if Jesus is your boss, you will excel in two areas: