It is by the grace of God that I joined this company. And it will be by the same grace that I will leave. No one can tell me what to do in this office,” Jennifer challenges.
She is responding to her supervisor who is seemingly concerned with her poor performance.
His intention is merely to establish Jennifer’s strengths and weaknesses so that he can better help her grow professionally, but Jennifer does not want to hear anything next to professional advice or criticism.
“I know where I am coming from. No one should be telling me what to do. The pastor and my family prayed to God for me to get this job; therefore, no one should be pushing me around as if I came here on their ticket,” she adds.
Being a devout Christian at a local church at Area 36 in Lilongwe, and someone who has stayed for years unemployed, Jennifer believes she is under the cover of God’s grace to secure the job.
As such, she thinks that no one, other than Jesus Christ and her pastor, has power to pressure her on what she is supposed to do in her new job as administration officer.
Probably she could be right because prior to securing the job Jennifer’s parents and their church’s pastor spent days fasting for her to get a job.
But what does the Bible teach about the fear of and respect for employers/bosses? The word of God according to 1 Peter 2; 1, Simon Peter, yes the disciple upon whom Jesus Christ laid the foundation stone for His church, emphasises the importance of Christians being submissive to their bosses.
Of course, it should be noted that Peter, although he is a central figure in the gospels, did not write that much. It is just these two very brief epistles.
The Bible, in 1 Peter 2:18, reads: “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect; not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favour, if, for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly, for what credit is there if when you sin and are harshly treated you endure it with patience?
“But if when you do what is right and suffer for it, you patiently endure it, this finds favour with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.”
Titus 2 adds: “Bond servants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour.”
Titus further goes to ask believers whether they realise that God has put superiors in authority over employees for a purpose.
“Do you realise that we need to live in a way that we submit to them? Not because of who they are, but because of who put them there. We need to live our lives in regard to them in a special way so that in everything we do, we give God all the glory,” says the chapter in question.
Catholic priest, Father George Chikapa, says, with that in mind, Christians need to ask how much more they should be living in a way that will glorify God whilst at their workplaces.
Chikapa says it is not about whether their bosses are believers or not, rather it is about if they, as employees, are or not.
“If you are, then your life is a living testimony in front of their eyes of whom you are and who God is in and through your life; when you work without complaining to your superior, something that words aren’t able to even express.
“You may be the one who is at that place right now to help them meet the Lord. You may be the one who is planting seeds that you may never get to see the fruit of, but may be the thing that turns their life around. So let us work and live in alignment to God’s purpose and plan for our lives,” he urges.
Reverend Juston Nyirenda of the Masato Mission Last Church of God agrees with Father Chikapa, saying Christianity values order and authority; hence, the need for believers to accept and respect order at their workplaces.
“God is a God of order and hates chaos. He has built divine authority into family and government to provide a valuable structure for everyday living that provides safety and security.
“When we live our lives in a way where we are working hard not holding back; when we live our lives in a way where we are working our hours scheduled so we aren’t robbing the company; give a full day’s work for a full day’s pay,” says Nyirenda.
Chikapa emphasises that the main reason Christians were called to a higher standard of living and employment is to make Christian life attractive to non-believers. n