22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians is filled with practical Christianity - tons of a advice on how to exhibit Christ on a daily basis. I'm fine with all the inspired guidance except for this above challenge from the 3rd chapter. If I were to put it in today's vernacular, it might go something like this:
Listen. At the work place, work as though your boss is Christ himself. Never take advantage of your employer. Work the same whether your boss is looking over your shoulder or on vacation in Cancun.
Most of my time with DISD, I gave my all. Most of the time. But there were plenty of times I shirked responsibilities because I knew I could get away with it. As the years piled up, I got more and more cynical about my bosses downtown and my immediate superiors in the building. So I justified my actions by saying to myself, "They are stupid in educational matters and indifferent to my plight as a teacher. Therefore, I have every right to slough off whenever possible and even sabotage their efforts".
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. God expected me to be the same worker every day, and it shouldn't have mattered that I couldn't work up any respect for those over me. It shouldn't have mattered that often their course of action was totally wrong. It was incumbent upon me to work as though I were reporting to Christ himself every day, which, of course, I really was doing.
This is such a challenge for us. So few of us work in ideal situations. Most of the time, there is an ogre somewhere above us in the organizational flow-chart. God says it doesn't matter. The implication is that through our commitment, we will win over the ogres.
Tough scripture, eh?