Summary: Whether we are a boss or a worker, a student, a homemaker, self-employed or retired, in whatever job we have, we should each insist on our rights in the workplace.
1. The first right every Christian should have in the workplace is the right heart (6:5-6)
2. The second right every Christian should have in the workplace is the right attitude (6:7)
3. The third right every Christian should have in the workplace is the right reward (6:8)
4. The fourth right every Christian should have in the workplace is the right perspective (6:9)
Since even before we were a nation, Americans have been concerned with our rights. Our earliest settlers left Europe to be free from the state church and for the right to worship as they chose. Our rights are something that we Americans hold dear. Do you know the reason our Constitution wasn’t immediately ratified by all 13 colonies? It was over the idea of the Bill of Rights. Some colonies wouldn’t ratify the Constitution until they were included. So did that mean that the other colonies didn’t think the rights laid out in those 10 Amendments were important? No, they thought the Bill of Rights could be seen as limiting our rights to only those 10. They didn’t want our rights to be seen as limited by government in any way other than those spelled out in the Constitution. Our fundamental rights have always been important to us. So much so, that in many ways, we have taken it to the extreme. Our culture has now become obsessed with our rights. If the law says that a woman can’t kill her unborn baby, she says her rights are being violated. If a public place won’t allow public, graphic displays of homosexual behavior, they say their rights are being violated. If a child is told to turn his profanity-laced T-shirt inside out at school, his parents say his rights are being violated. When a school teacher sees ultra-violent tendencies in the writings of a student, it would violate their rights to suspend them. If an airport screener singles out a person dressed in Muslim attire to search, that’s racial profiling and violates their rights. We are obsessed with our rights. We demand our rights in every aspect of our lives. We demand our political rights. We demand our economic rights. We demand our medical rights. We demand our rights at school. We demand our rights at home. We demand our rights at church. But one of the biggest places we demand our rights is at work. As Christians we have certain rights in the workplace. And we have every right to demand those rights. As a matter of fact, we need to be obsessed about those rights. As obsessed as our culture seems to be with all its rights. In the passage we’re looking at this morning, Paul continues on the topic of submission that he introduced in 5:21. He does so by looking at the master/slave relationship. Of course we don’t have many masters and slaves in America today. At least we don’t call them that anymore. But the same exact principles apply to the boss/worker relationship in our jobs. Whatever our workplace is, we all have a boss/worker or as this passage puts it, a master/slave relationship. Whether you are a boss or a worker, a student or a teacher, a homemaker, self-employed or retired—whatever your station in life, you are either a boss or a worker. And as a Christian boss or worker, you have rights. This morning, I want each of us to leave this place ready to insist on our rights in the workplace. In order to do that, we’re going to look at four rights every Christian should have in the workplace. The first right is the right heart. Look with me in verses 5-6: