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Christian Ethics at Work

By Angela Wittman

"There is a vast difference between a man who goes to work every day to serve God and a man who goes to work everyday to make money....If a man sells insurance chiefly to make money, he will work to sell his client what will bring him the greatest commission. But if a man sells insurance chiefly to serve God, he will work to sell his client what will best meet the needs of that client. The primary motive for work does matter!" (Taken from: "Whatsoever You Do" A Pastor's Perspective, written by John Sartelle.)

"Many Christians, in sales and other careers, are discouraged because they cannot see the eternal significance of their work. Some adhere to the idea that the best careers are those in "full time Christian service,"; which is taken to mean work as a pastor, missionary, teacher in a Christian school, or some such work. Certainly the work of pastors and missionaries is important. However, even a job seemingly far removed from "Christian"; work, such as assembly-line work in an auto parts factory, can be done to the glory of God. Every Christian, whether plumber or pastor, is engaged in "full time Christian service."

Even the least of careers, as man ranks them, can be a work of service to God. In Colossians 3:23, 24, Paul, writing to those in the lowest ranks of work, says, "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; for you serve the Lord Christ."; Any legitimate work can be honorable. If it is the most profitable use of the abilities of the worker, and is done diligently and honestly, the work can be pleasing to God." (Taken from: "The Christian's Work" by Dr. Timothy D. Terrell)

Dear Friends,

I pray you are as encouraged by these excerpts on a Christian's work as I am. I also wonder if the joy of work is being stressed in today's world as much as it ought to be?

I've read where man has shifted his focus from work being a gift from God to it being nothing more than a way to early retirement. I can think of nothing more satisfying than feeling exhausted at the end of the day and knowing deep down inside that you did a good job at your work.

I can also think of nothing more discouraging than feeling that the good job you did was not appreciated or noticed. This is why I chose this topic to write about as I want you to know that your work is not in vain and you have a Heavenly Father who sees what you do in private and searches the deep thoughts within your heart.

While this is comforting to those who are striving to be honest and seeking to serve the LORD in their work, I cannot help but warn those who are dishonest and think they are hiding their lawless deeds from the LORD that He also sees what they do in secret and will judge not only their actions, but their thoughts as well!

Now, this warning does not only apply to individuals, but to governments and their entities.

Concerning labor and it's fruit, I recently came across an article Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr. wrote in the July 2003 issue of Tabletalk magazine that "there are many reasons why one ought to despise socialism. It is institutionalized idolatry, first of all. Any state that claims to own the fruit of my labor is of necessity claiming to be god.....Also, socialism is institutionalized theft."

Dr. Sproul Jr. then goes on to say, "Because man was made for work, and because man was made to enjoy the fruit of his own labor, the destruction wrought by a state run amok is not ultimately destruction of the economy but destruction of men. Man was made for work, and whether we work and have the fruit thereof stolen from us, or refuse to work and eat of the fruit of another, socialism attacks man at the very core of his being."

Dr. Sproul Jr. ended his article with a request to eat in peace the fruit of our hands.

In conclusion, here is a July 10th, 2003 report from the Illinois Family Institute on recent media reports of teacher and administrator pensions that you and I are paying for out of our hard earned money through taxes:

... the Chicago Tribune to the downstate Belleville News Democrat published the details of bloated pension deals being won by a growing number of retiring teachers and administrators. Those pension deals, padded by pre-retirement pay boosts of as much as 20 percent, are placing an unprecedented financial burden on Illinois taxpayers. Such maneuvers, writes the NewsDemocrat, are outlawed in many other states, but have become commonplace in Illinois. In fact, the Chicago Tribune found that "70 percent of teachers and administrators who retired last year had their salary bumped up at least 15 percent in one of the last few years, which also bumped up their pensions. Forty percent of retirees got a 20 percent increase.

Dear friends, I don't know about you, but I think it may be getting close to "tea time" in Illinois (as in Boston Tea Party.)

May the good LORD have mercy upon us and may we enjoy the work He has called us to and the fruit of our hands.


Originally published in 2003.


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