6 Don’t [work only] while being watched, in order to please men, but as slaves of Christ, do God’s will from your heart. 7 Render service with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good each one does, slave or free, he will receive this back from the Lord. Ephesians 6:6-8
Isn’t this just a cheery topic to start the holidays off with? Obedience. Rendering service with a good attitude. Working with enthusiasm. Good-will serving. Serving wholeheartedly.
This whole idea is not new to me, especially as a veteran of working retail. I learned a long time ago that if I worked in my retail job only to please my superiors or to make a dollar, I would be a miserable and pathetic person. Retail is a completely thankless position. You are basically somebody’s public-arena mother/grandmother: picking up after them, catering to their will, putting up with horrible attitudes. I have also had some horrible bosses. I will not go into that, but let me just say that I have had PRIME opportunities to learn the kind of boss I never want to be. Ahem.
With all that said, I learned many years ago that if I say that I am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, or even privately think I am a believer without letting anybody I work with know (which is a very selfish idea, by the way), I should be working like a believer. The book of Ephesians, in chapter 6, verse 7, specifically says I should be working like I’m working for the Lord. Again, ouch. I may be employed by Dick’s, but I am most certainly not supposed to be doing my best work for Dick’s alone: I’m doing it more for my Master.
I will freely admit that if it were not for this concept, I would be totally miserable at work. I have found out, though, that if I go about my duties as if Jesus were my manager, I feel totally different about. Sounds cheesy and Christian-y, but it’s true. When customers are immediately angry with me for no reason, I find myself completely calm. My feelings are hurt, sure, but that’s really it. Which is a big deal if you know me at all. It happened within the first hour of my shift today, actually. I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh, I’m not mad at this guy! He just called me ‘hey girl’ and I looked directly into his eyes, smiled at him, and meant that smile!” When I still have five hours to go before I can go home and the first four hours of my shift have completely tired me out and I didn’t sleep well the night before and customers both in person and on the phone have been absolute children, I can honestly gather myself and keep a genuine smile on my face because I’m not doing all of that crap for a measly paycheck or to get a leg up on the ladder to make a name for myself.
It’s times like that that I am thankful to be Christ’s slave and not a slave to something belonging to this world. His yoke is easy. His burden is light. He is gentle and humble and gives rest to me when I cannot find it myself. He will not push me so far as to break me. He has plans for me, to prosper me and to give me hope and a future. Wow. How could I not want to serve that kind of Master wholeheartedly?