Work Lessons - Ephesians 6:5-9 - Episode 79

Work Lessons - Ephesians 6:5-9 - Episode 79
Season 5 Sweet Selah Moments Podcas...

 
 
00:00 / 00:28:55
 
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If you are a living, breathing human ... and we believe you are if you are reading this ... you work. All of us have work to do. When we're older and retired, we still have homes or nursing home rooms for which to care. We still have to brush our teeth. When we're younger, we often work in the home and out of the home and trying to find time for relaxation and focus on the family can be difficult. Paul speaks to us about work in Ephesians. He especially addresses those of us who have someone in charge of us. It's tricky to live out our faith, sometimes, in a world that views life very differently. Let's get some guidance together today from Ephesians 6.

Read the transcript for Work Lessons-Episode 79

Speaker 1 (00:03):

Is your world a little crazy and off kilter at the moment, feeling a bit frazzled? Well then, you’ve found the perfect place to regain some quiet today. Welcome to the Sweet Selah Moments Podcast, where we study his Word and encourage one another. The Sweet Selah Moments Podcast is a cooperative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.

Nicole (00:28):

Welcome to the Sweet Selah Moments Podcast. We’ve been studying the book of Ephesians verse by verse and have now come to instructions about work life. We’ve called episode 79, Work Lessons. Sharon. I’m curious, what jobs have you had throughout your life so far?

Sharon (00:44):

Oh, my goodness, let me tell you, I didn’t realize what a long list it was until I started thinking about it when we were preparing for this. (Nicole: Yeah) I started out at my first, you know, big girl kind of job as a hostess for a restaurant. And then I graduated to waitress as soon as I was eighteen cause tips. (Nicole: Oh, yeah) That’s why right, for college. And before that I babysat, I guess. So that would really be my first job. And then during college I was a companion for a woman with multiple sclerosis and got paid by the state to kind of take care of her. One summer in college, I worked for a radio station and I did radio advertisements. (Nicole: Oh fun) I drove around to all these local churches and gave Christian radio brochures to everybody and told them to listen.

Nicole (01:27):

Oh, wow.

Sharon (01:27):

That was kinda fun. (Nicole: Yeah) And then I almost was a DJ for a Christian radio station.

Nicole (01:32):

Oh, that’s so cool.

Sharon (01:33):

Yeah. Yeah. I went in and they introduced me and I said hello to the people that I was going to, you know, be their morning DJ. (Nicole: Yeah) And then at the end, I, I asked the guy why he was leaving and he said, well, actually the radio is in bankruptcy and they’re closing in three months and I’m like, Hmm. Okay then. So I moved to another job.

Nicole (01:52):

That ended that job.

Sharon (01:55):

I taught at three Christian schools. (Nicole: Oh) And then when my kids were little, I did this job called ‘story lady’ that I made up for myself and I used a British accent. (Nicole: Oh my word) And I told the stories of Winnie the Pooh.

Nicole (02:07):

Oh my goodness!

Sharon (02:08):

It was lovely. I had a friend make these pictures for me and I’d speak at birthday parties.

Nicole (02:12):

Oh, that’s so cute.

Sharon (02:13):

I wore this old fashioned dress.

Nicole (02:15):

No way. Do you still do this? Can I hire you?

Sharon (02:19):

I did libraries and I didn’t wanna work weekends. (Nicole: Yeah) So I charged, like this is a long time ago.

Nicole (02:25):

Yeah.

Sharon (02:25):

You know, my daughters have children of their own now so they were really young. (Nicole: Oh) I charged $300 for a half hour performance (Nicole: Whoa!) so no one would hire me on weekends (laughter) and they did.

Nicole (02:36):

Oh my goodness.

Sharon (02:37):

I was really looking at that like, well, I should pull that one out again.

Nicole (02:40):

You should. Oh.

Sharon (02:42):

And then of course I was a mom, a homemaker, a homeschooler.

Nicole (02:47):

Oh my word.

Sharon (02:48):

Those are big jobs.

Nicole (02:48):

Yeah. Those are hard.

Sharon (02:49):

Huge jobs. I taught ballet, which is hysterical, cause (Nicole: Did you?) I mean, it was to three and four year olds. That’s really the only level I was competent.

Nicole (02:57):

Oh my word, how cute.

Sharon (03:00):

And then piano to beginners and then discovered I actually could do that one and I did a lot of piano lessons., Then Moms in Prayer. I worked at Moms in Prayer and now I’m director of Sweet Selah Ministries. Goodness Nicole. Talk about a varied career.

Nicole (03:16):

Wow. I know, that’s amazing.

Sharon (03:18):

How about you?

Nicole (03:19):

Oh, I love hearing about all your jobs. We’ve had a few of the same jobs over the years, which doesn’t really surprise me.

Sharon (03:25):

No, that doesn’t surprise me.

Nicole (03:26):

But one of my very first jobs was babysitting as well. I used to babysit for several photographers, actually. I’m not sure why I picked up photographers, but they had four kids and two kids and I would babysit them for the weekends when they would go do weddings. (Sharon: Oh fun) And I loved it. I loved these kiddos. (Sharon: Oh) And then I was a house sitter for quite a while. I would house sit for people with different animals when they went on vacation. One lady had horses and that was my dream job for (Sharon: Really?) a week and a half, just playing with horses. It was amazing. Best job ever. I was also a caregiver for a woman who had Parkinson’s Disease. So as a young teen, I would go over and like put her hair in rollers and help her pick out lipsticks. She always wanted lipstick on, she was so cute.

Sharon (04:04):

I love that.

Nicole (04:05):

And I cleaned her house while her husband went and shopped. So that was a fun job. (Sharon: Mm-hmm) Let’s see, what else have we done? And then I had, my first like official job was JC Penney’s for a few years. I worked and help fit suits.

Sharon (04:16):

Did you really?

Nicole (04:16):

For men, yes. And then I worked in jewelry and that was so fun.

Sharon (04:20):

Oh, I bet that was, I could just see you doing that one. Yes.

Nicole (04:21):

I’d pick out rings for them, it was so fun. I loved that. And then after college I was a dental assistant for 15 years. That was my main career, I guess. (Sharon: Uhhuh) And then I also worked as a lactation counselor at Options. And I had a Bible study there for new moms for a few years. (Sharon: Oh) And then a homeschool mom, a stay at home mom. I’ve sold all the home products, Arbonne, DoTERRA, Ambit electricity. Anything you can do at home. And now I’m a hobby breeder of cockapoo puppies. And of course, part of the ministry team at Sweet Selah.

Sharon (04:54):

I was so glad for that last one. You can just stay in that one for a good fifteen years.

Nicole (04:58):

I like this one. I think I’m gonna settle here.

Sharon (05:00):

Yes. Yeah. Thank you so much.

Nicole (05:03):

It’s fun to look back and see all the different hats we’ve worn over the years, isn’t it?

Sharon (05:05):

It is. And you know, it makes me think of kids that get so stressed out about college choice and (Nicole: Yes) and what am I gonna be when I grow up? Well, we’re grownups and we’ve been lots of things.

Nicole (05:15):

I’m still not sure what I’m gonna be when I grow up, but I’ve tried a couple things that I’ve loved.

Sharon (05:19):

Yeah. Well, the other day at our church, we had this women’s gathering and one of the questions was, if you could have your ideal job, what could it be? Oh, and I teared up! I’m doing it.

Nicole (05:29):

Oh! I love that.

Sharon (05:31):

I’m doing it. It took till I was sixty to get there. (Nicole: Right) You know, now I’m sixty-four, but I’ve been doing it for four years. So.

Nicole (05:36):

Oh, that’s awesome.

Sharon (05:37):

Or maybe five years. Maybe I started at fifty-nine. I don’t know. But anyways, it was a late start on my dream job.

Nicole (05:41):

Yeah.

Sharon (05:42):

But I’m loving it.

Nicole (05:43):

Oh. That’s super cool.

Sharon (05:44):

So therefore, college student, if you’re listening, you know, go to college, get a degree, maybe you’ll use it. You know, you’ll make more money cause you got the degree, but you can do lots of different things.

Nicole (05:54):

Right. Oh you can. And you can change. God will lead you all different places. (Sharon: I know) And you can find joy in all of those different jobs.

Sharon (05:59):

You sure enough can. Yes.

Nicole (06:00):

Yeah.

Sharon (06:01):

Yes. Okay. Including putting rollers in the hairs of a Parkinson’s lady. (Nicole: Yes) They’re all good.

Nicole (06:06):

It’s fun.

Sharon (06:06):

Yeah. Okay. Well, moving on, today, we’re gonna look at Paul’s instructions to both workers and employers, not just from Ephesians, but from other parts of the New Testament. So I’m kind of looking forward to learning how to do both sides of work well, you know, how do I please God, as an employee and now I’m an employer. How do I please God, as an employer. But first of all, we’ve gotta address a word that is used in this Ephesians thing. The word is ‘slave’. (Nicole: Mm) It’s a hard word. And the way Paul talks about it in the New Living Translation anyways is slaves and masters. (Nicole: Mm) So Nicole, first of all, what did you learn about ‘slave’ from this passage?

Nicole (06:47):

Yeah. In this context? (Sharon: Yeah) Well, I looked at two sources. Strong’s Concordance says the Greek word used ‘doulos’, which I’m probably butchering, is translated ‘servant’, but can mean slave. And Bible.org says it this way. “The normal word for slave in the New Testament is the term ‘doulo’. A term that in earlier centuries, usually referred to one who sold himself into slavery. Later on it was used especially for those who became slaves as the spoils of war. Last of all, I learned from Christian questions.com that, and I’m quoting this one here, “A crucial point to remember is that slavery in the Bible is mostly of the indentured servitude variety and was most always on a term basis”. So seven years or fourteen years, et cetera.

Sharon (07:34):

Got it. Got it. So basically it’s not slavery for life and you say, okay, I have no money. Can I work for you for seven years?

Nicole (07:42):

Right. You would usually choose this (Sharon: Right, right) as this is a way to get out of debt.

Sharon (07:45):

Right. Okay. So it’s slightly better, it’s still kinda scary to put yourself, (Nicole: It’s hard to say that word) under somebody to that level that you’re sort of at their beck and call.

Nicole (07:52):

Right. But there is an end to it in the Bible terms.

Sharon (07:55):

Which is better. So well perhaps in another podcast we’ll tackle the issue of slavery in the New Testament cause there’s tons of passages to look at from the one in Galatians where Paul declares in Christ, there’s neither slave, nor free. All are one. (Nicole: Mm-hmm, yeah) At the foot of the cross, (Nicole: We’re all the same) we’re all the same. (Nicole: Yep) We absolutely are. The one in 1Corinthians where Paul does not encourage rebellion of slaves, but basically says by all means, if you are offered your freedom, or can get it, do.

Nicole (08:22):

Right. Go for it.

Sharon (08:22):

Don’t stay a slave. But this podcast is instructing us on a work ethic. So we’re gonna kinda walk away from the slavery issue. And with that in mind, we’re gonna actually read our passage today from the ESV instead of the New Living Translation, I just feel ‘slave’ is– it has so many horrible connotations for me. (Nicole: Yes) It’s hard for me to look at it in terms of a work ethic. (Nicole: Right) But the ESV, which is a highly accurate translation, uses ‘bond servant’. (Nicole: Yes) Which I think is more like the doulos that you were talking about. (Nicole: Yeah) So, so we’ll read together Ephesians 6:5-9 and Nicole, you can read verse five and then I’ll read verse six.

Nicole (08:59):

All right. “Bond servants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling with a sincere heart, as you would Christ.”

Sharon (09:07):

“Not by the way of eye-service as people pleasers, but as bond servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart.”

Nicole (09:14):

“Rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man.”

Sharon (09:19):

“Knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bond servant or is free.”

Nicole (09:27):

“Masters, do the same to them and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their masters and yours is in heaven and that there is no partiality with him.”

Sharon (09:37):

Oh, that’s good.

Nicole (09:37):

That is good. Remember, right?

Sharon (09:38):

Guess who’s the real master? Okay. We’re gonna unpack this verse by verse. So reread, please, verse five and then tell me your thoughts.

Nicole (09:48):

All right. So, five, “Bond servants obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling with a sincere heart as you would Christ”. Well, this is certainly a tough one to start with, but I think it’s really good to work with this type of attitude. You know, what good witnesses we would be Sharon and what great employees we are when we do what we are required to our absolute best ability, you know, like we’re working for God. (Sharon: Yes, yes) Even if our bosses don’t deserve it.

Sharon (10:13):

Exactly. It’s as for Christ, as we wait for Christ, it makes a huge difference in attitude.

Nicole (10:18):

Yes.

Sharon (10:19):

When you know, God’s watching you.

Nicole (10:21):

If we start out this passage with that attitude of, okay, I’m working for Christ, I think we’re gonna receive the lesson in this passage much better.

Sharon (10:27):

Exactly so. Exactly so. And we are to be obedient to them except, and we talked about this in the marriage lessons as well. (Nicole: Yes) Not against God’s word. (Nicole: Right) We do not obey if we’re told to do something unethical or illegal. (Nicole: Right) Period.

Nicole (10:40):

Right. And if we’re working as to God, we’re going to be following what God tells us to do. So we’ll know if something comes up, and say, God does not want me to do this.

Sharon (10:49):

Nope. Can’t do it. Can’t do it. Exactly. All right. My turn, verse six, “Not by the way of eye-service”. That’s so interesting, eye-service.

Nicole (10:56):

That’s an interesting thing. I know. I was like, I’m gonna look into that.

Sharon (10:59):

Like kinda like as people pleasers. Oh, you mean as people pleasers?(Nicole: Right) Okay. But as bond servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart. So this is so consistent with all of scripture, Nicole, God looks at the heart. He’s not interested in people pretending one thing when they’re being watched and then acting another way when no one’s looking. Hypocrites really got Jesus mad.

Nicole (11:20):

Yeah, it did.

Sharon (11:22):

Very few things did. He was very wonderful, but oh boy, don’t say one thing and do something else.

Nicole (11:27):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (11:27):

We need to be true through and through. So I’m trying to think of an example from my own working days. And, well, this is silly, but it fits. (Nicole: Okay) We were all, as waitresses, supposed to fold napkins in a fancy way.

Nicole (11:41):

Oh yeah?

Sharon (11:41):

I can still do it today at my table.

Nicole (11:43):

Oh, that’s awesome. Little origami napkins.

Sharon (11:45):

Yeah, little origami napkins. Exactly. So when we had downtime, we were supposed to do the napkins and wash down counters. We weren’t supposed to just hang around. (Nicole: Right) So this verse tells me that I’m not to just hang out with the waitresses until we see the boss coming and then start folding napkins.

Nicole (12:00):

Furiously, as he walks by.

Sharon (12:02):

Right, right. Right. And I think now, as my Sweet Selah Ministries’ director role, it means that if I’m talking about how a Sweet Selah Day is important, taking a day to be alone with God, I best be taking Sweet Selah Days.

Nicole (12:15):

Right. Right.

Sharon (12:16):

And if I’m talking about the beauty of taking time every day to be alone with God in a Four R method of devotional prayer and reading of the word, I need to do it. (Nicole: Yeah) And we actually ask that of our team. I always say, I’m not gonna like ask you, so did you do your quiet time this morning?

Nicole (12:31):

Check off the list, right?

Sharon (12:33):

But the very fact that we’re in a ministry that says daily quiet time with God matters (Nicole: Yes) means the integrity in us means we should do it.

Nicole (12:42):

Absolutely.

Sharon (12:42):

At least most of the time. (Nicole: Yeah) That’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s God’s will for me. So no pretense, what our outsides are saying, our insides should be doing.

Nicole (12:51):

Yes.

Sharon (12:51):

As we work, and in our work, if we’re talking about time with God, we need to do it.

Nicole (12:56):

Absolutely.

Sharon (12:57):

Which is kind of nice. It forces us to rest.

Nicole (13:00):

It does, like I’m working for this ministry about rest. So I have to take these times of rest.

Sharon (13:05):

I know. It’s really tough.

Nicole (13:06):

It’s terrible. That God commands me to rest.

Sharon (13:09):

Sorry. I have to take the day off and go be with God because oh, it’s my job.

Nicole (13:13):

I know. That’s so cool. I love it.

Sharon (13:15):

So how about you, can you think of some ideas of doing the will of God from the heart? Not just when people are looking, in your life?

Nicole (13:21):

Yeah. I know, I’m thinking about all of my different roles, and I think I’m gonna pick on the mom one because that one, the hypocrisy, kids pick it up so quickly.

Sharon (13:29):

Yeah, they do.

Nicole (13:29):

If mama says one thing and does another (Sharon: That’s right) they pick it up so fast. So it keeps me honest you know? And I think as a mom teaching my children to obey God, I need to make sure I’m not doing it to make me look like a good mom.

Sharon (13:42):

Oh yes. That’s true. That’s not the reason.

Nicole (13:45):

Right. Like, oh, well you’re not behaving this way. You’re making me look bad. But to make sure that I’m teaching them. So I’m pointing them to Christ so that they’re developing that relationship with him that’s rich. You know that will carry them through life?

Sharon (13:55):

Yes.

Nicole (13:55):

That they learn to love him and know how much he loves them.

Sharon (13:58):

That’s so much better.

Nicole (13:59):

And not just on, I look like a bad mom. So that’s a hard one. I gotta be careful about that.

Sharon (14:02):

That is a hard one. Yeah. Well, one of my girls told me, sadly, I felt the whole weight of proving your worth as a homeschool mom on my shoulders.

Nicole (14:11):

I know. It’s so hard being a homeschool mom. I definitely put that pressure on my girls.

Sharon (14:15):

I’m like, Oh honey, I’m so sorry!

Nicole (14:15):

I know.

Sharon (14:18):

And then she said, shhh, I forgive you. I’m just telling you.

Nicole (14:21):

But just so you know, right?

Sharon (14:23):

Just so you know.

Nicole (14:24):

Yeah, that’s a tough one. All right. Well, on to verse seven. Oh, here we go. So verse seven says, ‘rendering service with a goodwill as to the Lord and not to man’. So I see again, the phrase ‘as to the Lord and not to man’, Paul is really trying to get this point to stick.

Sharon (14:40):

Yes, he is. Yes, he is.

Nicole (14:42):

That all we do should be for the Lord and not for personal glory or to please others, you know, even our boss. You know, but if we’re working for God, then the natural byproducts could be recognition from our boss (Sharon: Right) because our work is exceptional because of Christ. (Sharon: Yes) You know, but even if not, we should still, we still need to do our best for God.

Sharon (15:02):

We should. And that’s the theme song here isn’t it? God’s watching. Yeah. (Nicole: Yep) So, okay, I’ll read verse eight and then we’re not gonna go further then that, we’ll stop for a moment and look at another passage about being good workers. Cause verse nine’s gonna deal with the employer side of things. So. So this is the last one about employees, Ephesians 6:8, ‘knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord’. Oh, you’re gonna get rewarded someday, right?

Nicole (15:29):

He’s so generous.

Sharon (15:30):

Whether he is a bond servant or free. Either way.

Nicole (15:34):

Yep.

Sharon (15:34):

However you’re working, God notices. If you are a literal slave and there are sadly slaves today in various places, or you’re a free person, like most of us are. (Nicole: Yeah) God sees. God still sees. Well, I learned from this that God sees whatever good anyone does, whether you’re a waitress, a dog breeder, a boss? God’s watching and we can be assured that he notices even if no one else does, when we work hard and do good work, even the yucky parts. You know, I love thinking that God’s noticing me when I do something good. Even as little as remembering Bella’s heartworm chew (Nicole: Awww) to keep her healthy. God tells us somewhere in Proverbs that it pleases him when we care for his animals. (Nicole: Oh) So no one actually applauds me when I give Bella her her heartworm pill

Nicole (16:22):

I’ll cheer you, good job, Sharon.

Sharon (16:25):

But God sees even that, Nicole.

Nicole (16:28):

He does.

Sharon (16:28):

And I think he says, good job, Sharon. You’re taking care of little Bella. So, well, it’s a hard thing to teach kids Nicole, to work well, even when no one’s watching, cause you can’t see what they’re doing when you’re not watching.

Nicole (16:40):

No.

Sharon (16:40):

So any tips for moms who don’t want their kids just to do the chores, but to learn the value of doing them for the right reason.

Nicole (16:48):

Mmm, yeah. That is a tough one. I remember my mom telling me when I was little like, well, Jesus is watching, even if I’m not. And I was like, ooh, but that is, it’s true though. God’s always with us. I’m always like, you know, do your chores, sweep the floor, like Jesus is there with you or that he’s coming over. Like, or prepare the table (Sharon: Yeah, it’s God’s table) like if Jesus was coming over, you’d really wipe the table and get the syrup off, you know? So just trying to get them that, you know, God is with them always. And even if I can’t see it, like God sees and he sees the good things too.

Sharon (17:16):

He does.

Nicole (17:16):

So even if they did pick up something that they didn’t need to, and I didn’t see, God sees them, and he’ll reward them for it.

Sharon (17:22):

And he will reward them. Isn’t that the sweetest?

Nicole (17:24):

Yeah, I know. So sweet. It’s a tough one. The kids don’t always, you know, like alright, I’ll wipe the table for Jesus.

Sharon (17:28):

Exactly.

Nicole (17:28):

But we’re trying.

Sharon (17:31):

Well, I also wanna read a verse from Colossians that also kind of emphasizes this point of working well at whatever we do. I’m gonna start in verse 22 and it’s got that slave thing again in it, but we’re gonna move on to the part about working willingly. So it says “Slaves obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time. Not just when they’re watching you.” It’s almost a repeat of what we have in Ephesians here. (Nicole: Yeah) “Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work willingly at whatever you do as though you were working for the Lord, rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward. And that the master you’re really serving is Christ. For, if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you’ve done for God has no favorites.” So my favorite verse in this section is the one where it says to work as if you’re doing it for the Lord. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) So people can be persnickety and hard to please. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) God sees the motivation. Now sometimes that’s dreadful cause he sees my motivation. (Nicole: Yeah) He knows how bad I am. But actually sometimes it’s a relief to know that God knew I meant well in whatever work I did. So.

Nicole (18:37):

That’s a good point. I really love that God sees us, you know, he sees us when our job is really difficult when we are a slave or when we’re really loving it, you know? (Sharon: That’s true) And we’ve done both in our life.

Sharon (18:49):

Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Nicole (18:50):

There were so many times dealing with a difficult patient or customer that I thought I handled really well, but our boss never saw, you know, never saw that interaction, but I know that God did. And that’s all that really matters. So it’s good to keep in mind that if we’re working for a difficult boss that doesn’t notice the good, that God does and not to get discouraged in doing good.

Sharon (19:09):

Absolutely.

Nicole (19:10):

To keep working for God.

Sharon (19:11):

Yeah. That’s the theme song here. God’s the audience. He’s the one we’re working for. Absolutely. God has no favorites. That’s so good. Okay. Well we’re gonna talk about this favoritism thing because God not only doesn’t have favorites. He doesn’t like it when we play favorites. So we’re gonna read a passage. Actually, would you read it? It’s James 2:1-9. And basically whether we’re bosses or workers, God’s looking at the heart and we need to do that too. So go ahead.

Nicole (19:39):

“My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting, dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry. And another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, you can stand over there or else sit on the floor. Well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?” (Yikes) “Listen to me. It’s your brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith. Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the kingdom he promised to those who love him? But you dishonor the poor. Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear? Yes, indeed. It is good when you obey the royal law as found in the scriptures, ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.”

Sharon (20:42):

Bam.

Nicole (20:42):

That’s pretty straightforward too.

Sharon (20:43):

Yes, it is. It’s really obvious from these passages that whether you’re a worker, even a literal slave or the richest guy in the world, God expects you to behave with kindness towards others.

Nicole (20:55):

Yes.

Sharon (20:55):

Period. No favoritism.

Nicole (20:57):

Nope.

Sharon (20:58):

Yeah. I love that.

Nicole (20:59):

That’s good.

Sharon (21:00):

All of us are going to answer to God for the way we treat others. So when we stand before God, someday, it’s not gonna matter whether we were rich or poor or master or slave. What’s gonna matter is how we responded to God for salvation most of all. But then also for the way we treated others. Oh I know. I just so love this Lord that you don’t show favorites. Thank you.

Nicole (21:20):

Mm-hmm.

Sharon (21:20):

So now we’re gonna finally look at the master role or the boss role, the employer role. So would you read our last verse? We’re going back to Ephesians finally. We kinda wandered away just cause I wanted us to see that favoritism thing.

Nicole (21:32):

Yeah, that was good though. Alright, so “Masters do the same to them and stop your threatening. Knowing that he, who is both their master and yours is in heaven and that there is no partiality with him.”

Sharon (21:44):

That’s been repeated over and over. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) No partiality.

Nicole (21:47):

Yeah. No favorites.

Sharon (21:48):

No partiality.

Nicole (21:49):

No.

Sharon (21:49):

Yeah.

Nicole (21:49):

You’re all equal.

Sharon (21:51):

So, this is interesting, ‘masters do the same’. Okay, what have we just said servants should do? Work with all their heart as doing it for the Lord? Well, bosses need to do that too. The same standard, high standard of work is expected of them.

Nicole (22:07):

Yeah.

Sharon (22:08):

They don’t get to just loaf around. (NIcole: Right) They ask their people to work hard. They need to work hard. They don’t just loaf. Yeah. And if you read the Old Testament, there are a lot of laws on how to care for the poor, if you’re rich (Nicole: Mm-hmm) and not abuse them. They needed, they were told to pay a fair wage, create working environments that are safe. So bosses have a responsibility in their job, (NIcole: Right) to look out for their employees.

Nicole (22:33):

That’s true.

Sharon (22:34):

In kind ways. So. (Nicole: Yeah) So what do you think the next part means? The ‘stop your threatening’.

Nicole (22:40):

Yeah. That’s interesting. Maybe it’s just a reminder to the boss or the master to be kind bosses because God is boss over them. (Sharon: Right) So whatever they dish out, they’re gonna have to answer for.

Sharon (22:53):

Oh yeah, baby. They are. Yeah. And threatening is not the way to do it.

Nicole (22:56):

No.

Sharon (22:56):

If you don’t do this, duh duh duh.

Nicole (22:59):

Threatening never works in parenting and anything. It never works.

Sharon (23:02):

It’s basically, if you’re a boss, don’t be a bully.

Nicole (23:04):

Right. Right.

Sharon (23:05):

You know, in fact, usually it’s better to come alongside and help.

Nicole (23:08):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (23:08):

Then just sort of, you know, snap your fingers and make ’em work.

Nicole (23:12):

Right. Exactly.

Sharon (23:12):

And if the bosses are doing the same as the workers and work hard, then that’s what they ought be doing.

Nicole (23:17):

Right.

Sharon (23:17):

Yeah. Jesus is like, I washed your feet. (Nicole: Right) And I’m God. So, (Nicole: What a beautiful picture of serving) don’t be thinking, you know, that and then we’re gonna go back again to submit to others, you know, we’re all to submit to each other. That is just there it is. No matter what our role is.

Nicole (23:34):

And it works so much better that way cause think about it. You would much rather work and do better work for a boss who is kind and leading by example. (Sharon: Working too, yeah) Right. Versus just, you’re just trying to get out of there usually, you know?

Sharon (23:44):

I know it. You can spot a selfish person a mile away. (Nicole: Oh for sure) Yeah. Yeah. And who wants to work for a selfish boss?

Nicole (23:50):

No. And he’ll, the boss, will profit more with employees who are happy and glad to work (Sharon: Absolutely) for him or her. Yeah.

Sharon (23:55):

Yeah. In the end because all God’s laws are like this.

Nicole (23:59):

Right. That’s that whole thing. His commands are for our good.

Sharon (24:03):

So, okay. Well let’s look at one more passage that talks to the ones with the power and the money. I’m gonna read it from 1 Timothy 6:17-19. And he’s telling Timothy this, “Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. (Yep) Their trust should be in God who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use the money to do good. They should be rich in good works (Sharon: Here’s the boss working again) (Nicole: Mm-hmm) and generous to those in need. Always being ready to share with others. By doing this, they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.”

Nicole (24:47):

Oh, I like that part.

Sharon (24:49):

I think this is so beautiful. Don’t trust in money. It’s unreliable. Boy, Oh boy, is that the truth?

Nicole (24:55):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (24:56):

I mean, countries can be overrun and then their currency is worth nothing.

Nicole (25:00):

That’s true.

Sharon (25:00):

The South after the civil war, Confederate dollars?

Nicole (25:04):

All their bonds were worthless. Yeah.

Sharon (25:05):

Worthless. Nothing. And that could happen to us. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) Banks can fail and all the money you’ve stuck in your savings account, feeling so proud of yourself, can be gone.

Nicole (25:14):

That’s true.

Sharon (25:14):

That’s what happened in America during the Great Depression. So putting our faith, it’s not like you shouldn’t save, but don’t put your faith there.

Nicole (25:21):

Right. Right, right.

Sharon (25:22):

Remember that money is unreliable. It just is. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) So the boss or the masters, shouldn’t be making it their primary aim to get rich at the expense of their workers. (Nicole: Right, yeah) Right? That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. In fact, what does Paul say rich people ought to do if they have lots of money?

Nicole (25:38):

I love this. Share, to be generous. And to, I love this, always be ready to share with others in need, you know? So they can experience true life.

Sharon (25:46):

Exactly.

Nicole (25:47):

It’s not bad to be rich, but if you have that, then be ready to share it to bless other people.

Sharon (25:50):

To give it away. Yeah. Yeah.

Nicole (25:52):

It’s so fun to bless other people

Sharon (25:53):

This is just making me laugh so much. Husbands you’re in charge of your wives, but do it their way and be kind to them. Wives submit to your husbands.

Nicole (26:03):

Right.

Sharon (26:03):

But this is really for your own good, because you really wanna boss him around all the time. (Nicole: Right) Right? And now rich people. Yay. You’ve got wealth. Give it away.

Nicole (26:12):

Right. God’s kingdom is so upside down.

Sharon (26:12):

He’s the ultimate equalizer.

Nicole (26:16):

He is. Yeah.

Sharon (26:18):

All right. So here’s the deal. We are expected to work hard at whatever we’ve been assigned. We’re to do it when people are watching and when no one is watching, because God is always watching. (Nicole: Yes) Ultimately we work for him, an audience of one and he is the one that gives us treasures in heaven that are not unstable, like treasures on earth. Nicole, it changes everything when we stop looking to man for approval and instead do things, knowing God is watching and is pleased with us. (Nicole: Yeah) If we’re the worker, we do this. And if we’re the boss, we also do this. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) Both of us are to work hard and rest well, as we talk about in Sweet Selah Ministry. There’s a time for both.

Nicole (26:58):

Absolutely.

Sharon (26:59):

Yeah. So let me pray for us. Oh Father, thank you. Thank you that you do not show partiality. Thank you that you see us, whether we’re poor or rich, whether we’re little in the eyes of the world or mighty. Thank you that the rules apply to all. We’re to work hard as to you, we’re to give generously, we’re to be kind, we’re to love others and consider their needs above our own. We’re equal at the foot of the cross, Lord, cause we all need you desperately. And none of us get to heaven except by your grace. So, help us to keep that in mind, whatever we do for work this week. In Jesus’ name, I ask this, Amen.

Nicole (27:47):

We hope this episode on work encouraged you today. Let’s remember to work with the intent of pleasing God. We always like hearing from you too. Did something we said or read really stick with you today? Did we leave out a verse you wish we’d included? Let us know. You can write us anytime @sweetselah.org/podcast. Would you like to become a podcast partner? We’d love to add you to our team of people who receive our monthly E-news and who faithfully pray for us and support us. Your donation can be super small. Every little bit helps. Go to Sweetselah.org/donations and donate any amount with the ‘podcast partners’ in the comments. Join up partners. Next week we are looking at the Armor of God. Join us for episode 80, Armor Up. Have a great week.

Speaker 1 (28:33):

We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. The Sweet Selah Moments Podcast is a cooperative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast can be found at SweetSelah.org. Thank you for joining us.

 

 

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