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November 13, 1991

Slave Wages

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As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God. PSALM 123:2
Slavery is a dark spot in the history of our country. While we still live in its shadow, we are largely free from living in master/slave relationships. We do, however, still have employers, customers, and clients. Although we’re not their slaves, we are beholden to regard their interests above our own.
What is your relationship with your employer? Would you characterize it as hostile? Tolerant? Cordial? Does it really matter? The answer is a resounding yes! It matters—a lot. But the real trick is keeping in balance the right kind of relationship with our “master.”
As followers of Christ, we have a mandate to serve others that is not lifted when we check in at the office. We are not exempt from following Christ from nine to five. In fact, this is where the rubber meets the road in our journeys of faith. Our attitudes and our approaches to those in authority speak volumes to those around us about the veracity of our walks with Christ. In small and subtle ways, our language and posture betray our hearts toward those who would lead us. How are we doing in that regard?
On the flip side, we cannot look to our work, our companies, or our bosses for the security and assurance that only God can provide. Job security is a big issue in our downsized and restructured corporate environments, and it is easy to pay lip service to the Lord while we are anxiously polishing our resumes and networking “just in case.” Taking “our” careers into our own hands (and ultimately out of His) is an act of pride. Certainly following Christ and concerns about career are not mutually exclusive activities, but they are dangerously close. The surest career path is not a great resume, but a great relationship—with Jesus.
It is His hand that sustains us, saves us, feeds us, houses us, and clothes us. His way is best. It is more fulfilling, not less. And while the metaphor is that of slavery, the reality of the relationship is that of a son, a brother, and an heir. Definitely not slave wages.

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