And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it (Gen. 2:15).
From the very beginning God has intended for man to work. While some may attempt to deny that the Bible has anything to say about secular things (that is things “Pertaining to the present world, or to things not spiritual or holy” [Webster]) the position is untenable to a true student of the Bible for we find that it is a Scriptural subject. Paul sets an attitude toward work that all Christians, and in acceptance of absolute truth all men, must have, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 The. 3:10). Much could be said to define the context of the passages, the words used (such as the difference between slave, servant, and bond[man, woman, servant]), and the like, but this manuscript will concentrate on the common thread of Scripture: The principles that should be applied to our relationships.
The following passages weigh heavily into a discussion of “Punching the Clock” and form the core instructions from God concerning our attitudes—the principles—that one must apply toward the job, toward the employer, toward the employee, and most importantly toward God. Please keep these Scriptures close by for reference as this series continues.
(5) Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; (6) Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; (7) With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: (8) Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. (9) And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him (Eph. 6:5-9).
(22) Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: (23) And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; (24) Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ (Col. 3:22-24).
Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven (Col. 4:1).
(11) And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; (12) That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing (1 The. 4:11-12).
(1) Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. (2) And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. (3) If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness (1 Tim. 6:1-3).
(9) Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; (10) Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things (Tit. 2:9-10).
(18) Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. (19) For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. (20) For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God (1 Pet. 2:18-20).
(to be continued…)