Howard Hendricks tells a great story when he was on an American Airline flight after a very long delay. A man who had too much to drink was being rude to the other passengers. Demanding with the flight attendants. And in a word just plain obnoxious!

Hendricks watched this flight attendant treat this unpleasant man with class, dignity and professionalism. She was unruffled. When he was rude, she was polite. When he was uncaring, she was kind.

Howard was so impressed that he walked back to the plane to commend the flight attendant. He told her what a good job she did. How impressed he was. And that he was going to write a letter of commendation to American Airlines.

In response, she said, “Thank you sir, but I don’t work for American Airlines.” Hendricks was briefly baffled until she added, “I work for Jesus Christ.”

Our word of the week is work.

Today, in the United States, we celebrate Labor Day. Ironically, it’s a holiday and many are off work! It was first purposed by Peter J. McGuire to honor America’s work force. The first Labor Day celebration was on September 5, 1882, in New York City. Today there will be speeches. Parades. Flags will fly. And folks will bar-b-que.

Take a moment today and ask yourself, “Who do I work for?” What if everyone worked Jesus Christ?

The Bible provides practical principles to help us in regard to labor in today’s marketplace. In Col 3:22-24, Paul penned:

“Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

While this was written to slaves, the principles apply to Christians in the employee-employer relationship. Here are 4 simple guidelines to apply in your job or profession.

(1) Work Obediently. Obey your masterThat means your boss or supervisor. Paul says in everything. And not just when he is watching. Or just to win his favor. But we do it because it is the right thing to do.

(2) Work sincerely. This word means with singleness, simplicity, and mental honesty. It is the virtue of one who is free from pretense and hypocrisy. And it makes no difference what kind of work you do. Give it your best. My Dad used to say, “Give a full day’s work for an honest day’s pay. That’s working sincerely!

(3) Work cheerfully. The word heartily means to “work from the soul.” It means with gusto or enthusiasm. From the very seat of your feelings and emotions, God wants us to work. The Christian worker is not to be sullen. Instead, we are to be happy and cheerful. Enthusiastic and excited.

(4) Serve Christ in your work. For Christians, work takes on a new meaning. You are not just serving an earthly employer, but a heavenly Master. Your work has deeper purpose, greater potential and higher motives. The way you work, the values you live by, and the attitudes you display honors God. Like the American Airlines flight attendant.

Your work has value. Dignity. Worth. From the teacher to the janitor. From bank president to the teller. From the CEO to factory worker. God wants us to work. And work in a way that glorifies Him.

Have a great Labor Day! And thank God for the blessing of work!

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Uncategorized

3 responses to “WORD OF THE WEEK: WORK

  1. Larry Hafley

    Thanks for this encouraging Labor Day exhortation.  Yawning (swallowing my ears), and still a little groggy, I needed it! 


  2. Chuck Richardson



  3. Thank you Ken and Larry. Ken your words are as always full of inspiration and faith. I particularly like how you lifted up the Flight Attendant with the inebriated traveller. That kind of patience and grace is commendable.

    Every Christian has a job to do. That job is to press on toward the goal (the mark) for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

    Many Christians are underemployed, in jobs that barely pay the bills, many of whom are doing their best to show the proper respect for their bosses and other employees or customers. That too is commendable. However, all Christians deserve to be labouring at work they sincerely feel called to do.

    As Christians perfect that job and mature. Christian leaders should help the mature to seriously consider the goal of “pressing on toward the “Mark” for the prize of the upward calling of the Everlasting Father in Christ Jesus (Mark 15:21; Philippians 3:14; Romans 16:13)

    I pray today for those Christians who are underemployed. I pray that their bosses and or their faith will light a fire within them so that they will find the way to develop their talents and skills to move up or out of the company where they are underemployed or unappreciated. May they strive for the Mark that will encourage them to realize the prize that God has for them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.