Christian Living

Spiritual Life

What Do Employers and Employees Owe Each Other?

An employee owes his employers the duty of behaving as if he were working for Jesus Christ. The Bible says, "Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). It also tells us that we are not to seek to please men but to serve the Lord Jesus Christ (see Galatians 1:10,  1 Thessalonians 2:4). Wherever you work--in an office, as a union member, in a factory, as a salesman, or in any other place--you are to act as if you are working for Jesus (see 1 Corinthians 10:31). Remember that our reward will come from Him. Whatever the nature of the person you are working for, you should love that person, be loyal to him, and serve him with all your heart.

An employer, on the other hand, is to be gentle and tender with his employees, especially if the employees are Christians. Such employees are to be treated as brothers in the Lord. The book of Philemon consists of a letter that Paul wrote about a runaway slave. Paul told Philemon that his runaway slave had become a Christian. Because of this, Onesimus was no longer just a slave, but was now a brother in Christ and should be treated as such. Modern employers must see their employees as precious creatures made in the image of God. They are not just numbers, or nameless faces on an assembly line. They are people for whom Christ died!

Together, employers and employees should respect each other, work in harmony, and remember the basic commandment of Jesus: "Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them" (Matthew 7:12). This golden rule should underlie all labor relationships. If you would not want to be put in a dust-filled room with poor light and no toilet facilities, and allowed only a fifteen-minute break for lunch, do not put your employees under those conditions.

Conversely, if you, as an employee, do not appreciate shoddy workmanship, constant bickering, and lack of respect for your personal property, remember that your employer has the same dislikes.

In short, employers and employees should acknowledge the claim of God on both, the God-given dignity of both, and the mutual consideration that each would want if roles were reversed.

Excerpt taken from Answers to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions, Copyright 1984 by Pat Robertson. 

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