Getting Along With The Boss
1 Timothy 6:1-2
Introduction: We have all seen the bumper sticker, “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go!” Work may seem like a necessary evil but in reality it is good for us. God, from the beginning intended that man should work. If it seems like you are simply stuck in a “rat race” then you need to gain a fresh perspective from the Word of God about work!
In our text work was addressed in a different culture. In the Roman Empire it was estimated that there were as many as 50 million slaves. There was not normally an employer/employee relationship because it was more economically advantageous to simply make a one time transaction and have slave labor at your disposal. Slavery was the norm of the day if you owned a business you had slaves.
Today of course we have employers and employees. Our text fits well into the context of today because it has to do with working for someone else. In this passage the slave/employee is instructed on how to get along with the boss. In other passages the master/boss is addressed.
If I was to ask you to describe your boss to me, I wonder if the majority of the description would consist of positive or negative comments? In Paul’s instructions to Timothy we find that it is very important that we have the right kind of attitude about our boss.
1 Timothy 6:1,2 NASB95 All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.
1. How to respond to your boss
a. Life under the “yoke”
i. Used of any burden or bondage.
b. Regard them as worth of all honor
1 Peter 2:17-20 NASB95 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
c. Something seems a little amiss here. Shouldn’t I only treat with honor a boss that is good or kind or at the very least moral?
d. What, I have more opportunities to find favor with God when I have an unreasonable boss?
e. To honor them I must also display a work ethic that is impeccable!
Colossians 3:22-24 NIV Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
f. Two reasons:
i. That reputation of God would be untarnished. Notice who it is that we really serve at work!
ii. That the message of the gospel would be well received
g. How to protect the reputation of God and the Gospel:
i. Be the most “on time” employee that they have.
ii. Be the most respectful
iii. Be the hardest working
iv. Be the most caring/loving
v. Be the most dependable
vi. Be the most cooperative
vii. Be the most productive
2. How to respond when your boss is a Christian
a. Imagine that possibility of both the salve and the master both becoming believers and attending the same church.
b. What if the slave had been elected as a deacon or even a pastor and given a place of authority in the church over the one who was his master.
c. Since there were such a huge number of slaves in the Roman empire this type of situation was probably did happen.
d. What Paul addresses however, was what was to happen at work.
e. The slave that was a Christian was not to be disrespectful to the master that was a Christian.
f. If you worked for a Christian master you should work all the harder not trying to take advantage of the master who was also a Christian brother.
g. The slave was to work harder for his Christian master because the slave loved him as a brother and desired that the master would be financially benefited.
h. Ever tell your Christian boss that you want to work over so that he can be more profitable?
Conclusion: The last phrase in verse two says to teach and preach these things! Teaching means give the right instruction and preach means to bring people to the place of a changed life and make a commitment.
Are you the best employee that your boss has? It should be a goal of ours to be the employee of the month every month as far as attitude and respect goes. This is counter culture to what much of the world believes. We are called to be different even in the way we treat our boss and our job because more than our reputation is at stake! The Lord’s is!