Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Commandments of God and The Reality of Work

I find myself conflicted in my handling of work.

I am caught.  On the one hand I have the commandments of the Bible:

"Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eye service as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God.  And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; you are serving the Lord Christ." - Colossians 3:22-24

"Bondservants, be obedient to those who are 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: 5-9

"Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things." - Titus:  2: 9-10

"Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.  For this is commendable, if because of conscience towards God one endures grief, suffering wrongly." - I Peter 2:18-19

On the other hand I have the practical experience of work, which too often these days seems to be that you should be able to do more and more with less and less, accept the fact that you are always going to be behind, and that any potential advancement will be tied less to your actual output and more to your ability to curry the favor of those above you.  Not surprisingly, this breeds a certain amount of cynicism in how one approaches there job.

Here is the dilemma;  If I truly follow what God commands, then I feel as if I am on the receiving end of whatever the employer can (and wants to) do to me.  I have no ability or even right to look at my job and observe issues with it.  Instead, I should simply put my trust in God that somehow everything will be rewarded.  That is fine as an initial discussion of course; it is much more difficult when you find yourself years into a job or career with no seeming way out and no seeming way forward.

Is this the practical application of faith?  Is this where the proverbial rubber meets the road?  If so, let me say that I do not find that I like my own ox being gored.  The thought of facing work on a daily basis is difficult enough; the thought of doing it with the attitudes and outlook that God calls for in the midst of any absence that it is going to work out well seems virtually impossible.

If I were to do this - if I were to completely abandon myself as God commands and not worry about the outcome - would there come a point where I could say "He kept His promises here as well"?  Or is it the great leap of faith, clinging to his words even I find myself mentally and spiritually crushed between a load I cannot seem to bear?

This a practical living out of faith - and one I am finding incredibly difficult.

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