What does the Bible have to say about working in an atmosphere of confrontations?
Question from a reader:
After the company I work for was recently sold, a series of confrontations with my manager made me wonder what the Bible has to say about working in a situation like this.
Answer from Randy Alcorn:
In Colossians 3:22-24, slaves (parallel to employees) are commanded to “obey your earthly masters [parallel employers] 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. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Motivation to work is a test of who people are serving. If they view it as only serving earthly owners and authority figures, their motivation will be lost, and their thoughts transferred only to themselves and their futures, and potential frustration and bitterness can kick in. Then their work will suffer greatly. But if you view it correctly, you see that God has been the One they’ve been, or should have been, working for all along and He has not transferred ownership of the company—He’s still in charge of the universe. And He still has a perfect plan for each of us.
How an individual continues to work and who he serves will demonstrate AND cultivate dependence, maturity and Christ-centeredness. As the passage says, we work for the Lord, not men, knowing that we will receive an inheritance from Him. The wages and benefits of serving God do not decrease in an adverse situation like this, but potentially increase greatly, when God’s children respond rightly. They are serving their Father and when they feel great loss (of job and in some cases of place to live) He promises them great gain, a role of service in his kingdom (a job they’ll never lose) and eternal inheritance (a home and property they’ll never lose).
May God work through you as you trust Him in your own life. May you serve Him in humility and provide a solid reference point and source of encouragement to others in a difficult time that will prove providential and character building.