“Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free” (Ephesians 6:5-8).
Even though these inspired instructions are applied specifically to the first century context of slavery, they do contain several principles which ought to be found in every Christian’s mindset when working for another.
Do what you are told to do. Unless you are asked to do something immoral, do what your boss tells you to do, when you are told to do it, and in the way it is expected to be done.
Do your work for Christ. It matters not whether your supervisor is watching, your Master is. Go about your workday working for Him. Being dependable creates confidence in the mind of your employer. Trustworthy people get promoted faster and paid better than those who are not.
Be cheerful. No one enjoys working with a chronic complainer, so do not be toxic to your co-workers. No one has a more important job than you have; you are working for the Lord of lords. If that fact does not make you cheerful while on the job, the problem is you, not your boss.
Do your best. This is the least you can do when you are “doing the will of God from the heart” (v. 6). If serving Christ does not prompt the highest quality of work you can produce, what does?
Be thankful. Because of the economic system we live under in the 21st century, we are far more likely to receive richer compensation for our labor than the slaves who lived in the 1st century. Christ expected the same of them then as He does of us now. How grateful we ought to be for the greater financial prosperity a Christian’s work ethic can generate in today’s world than it did for slaves two millennia ago.