Excellence in our workplaces
Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as (something done) for the Lord and not for men, knowing (with all certainty) that it is from the Lord (and not from men) that you will receive the inheritance which is your (real) reward. (The One Whom) you are actually serving is the Lord Christ, the Messiah Col. 3:23-24 Amplified Version.
THE VALUE OF EXCELLENCE
There is no doubt that a high premium is placed on the value of quality and excellence in the workplace. So many books have been and are still being written extolling the virtues of good quality work. Studies conducted so far have revealed that quality and excellence in the workplace do not just lead to higher profits – they are vital to sustaining business. This has led to managers and employees in corporate organizations embracing a new work style that is premised on quality and excellence.
And yet the theme of excellence in the way we work is something God treasures and is therefore firmly established in His written Word, the Bible as we read in Prov. 22:29: Do you know a hard-working man? He shall be successful and stand before kings!
BIBLICAL VIEW OF WORK
The Bible teaches us a few things about work, which we need to use as principles for our own work
- God, who Himself is a worker, does His work with excellence – Gen. 1:31.
- God equips people with specific skills and abilities that fit them for certain kinds of work –Ex. 31:1-11; Ps. 33:15. We are expected to use our skills for their intended purposes and by so doing serve God with all our strength and all our might.
- We should work with the understanding that we are accountable to God and that He is daily evaluating the quality of our work – Eph. 6:5-8.
- We are to be conscientious, diligent, loyal, respectful and peaceable in our work style, thereby making the gospel of Christ attractive to co-workers, clients and customers – Titus 2:9-10.
SOME WORK – WORLD CODES
As believers we should know that all legitimate work matters to God and in that respect He does not consider some jobs more important than others. Managers and those in authority are as much accountable to God for the work they do as all workers and those under authority. Both categories of people have to display good character and conduct and make choices in the workplace that honour Christ in difficult workplace environments. The following will help us to do just that.
GUIDELINES FOR MANAGERS AND OTHERS IN AUTHORITY
- Workers must give their due payment for their work – 1 Cor. 9:7-14.
- There must be fair employee compensation – Col. 4:1.
- Due care and circumspection must be applied to the way wealth is handled – 1Tim. 6:9-10; 17-18. Misapplication and misappropriation of funds are a poor reflection of our faith.
2. WORK RELATIONS
- Business relationships must reflect our transformed Christlike lives – 2 Cor. 7:1.
- God values people and so we must value them and treat them with dignity – Gal. 5:14-15; Eph. 4:31-32.
- Workers must be treated with respect and not with intimidation and threats – Eph. 6:59.
- We must be honest in our estimation of ourselves – humility must be our hallmark – Rom. 12:3.
3. COMMUNICATION – Let us:
- verify accusations before acting – Matt. 18:15-35; 2 Cor. 13:1; 1 Tim. 5:19.
- be gracious and truthful in all your communications – Col. 4:6. It pays to be courteous and respectful
4. RESPONSIBILITY – Let us:
- fulfill our commitments – Rom. 13:6-8. Being the leader does not mean abdicating our responsibilities.
- not forget that we are accountable to God and to our workers – 1 Cor. 3:9-15.
- be kind to the disadvantaged – Rom. 12:13; Gal. 2:10.
- handle our times of bounty and our times of leanness prudently – Phil. 4:12.
- give glory to Christ for our successes – Col. 1:17-18.
- remember to care for our own family –1Tim. 5:8.
- be sensitive to people’s needs and meet them whenever we can – Titus 3:14.
- The decisions we take must be rooted in God’s perspective about time and eternity – 2 Cor. 4:16-18; 2 Pet. 3:8-13
- Let us nurture, mentor, encourage and equip employees to be the best – 1 Thess. 5:14-15.
- Let us be flexible with our options – 2 Cor. 5:16-17; Phil. 10:14.
GUIDELINES FOR WORKERS AND THOSE UNDER AUTHORITY
1. DUTIES – Let us:
- not be too quick to get out of your current situation – 1 Cor. 7:17-24. God has a reason for keeping us where we are.
- have the right perspectives about stress and trouble – 2 Cor. 4:7-18.
2. SUPERVISORS – Let us:
- develop a healthy respect for authority – Rom. 13:1-8.
- work wholeheartedly and respectfully – Eph. 6:5-8; 1 Thess. 5:12-15.
- do our work with diligence, obeying the rules of the job – 1 Thess. 4:11-12.
- respect and honour your bosses whether they are believers or not – 1 Tim. 6:1-2
3. CO-WORKERS – Let us:
- develop a sober and honest estimation of ourselves – Rom. 12:3
- acknowledge that differences are natural and inevitable and learn to accept the contributions of others – 1Cor. 12:1-8.
- help others to be productive without neglecting to do our assigned job well – Gal. 6:1-5.
- be sensitive and courteous in the way we speak to others – Col. 4:6.
- show understanding for others and treat them with respect – 1 Tim. 5:1-3.
- build a reputation for good relationships – Titus 3:1-2.
4. RESPONSIBILITY – Let us:
- give ourselves totally to God – Rom. 12:1;
- be wise and discerning so that you can make use of all the opportunities God gives you – Eph. 5:15-18;
- remember that you are working for God and be diligent about it – 1 Cor. 3:13; Col. 3:17;
- not let our responsibilities weigh us down with anxiety – Phil. 4:6;
- live responsibly, pursuing a godly life – 1 Thess. 4:11-12; 2 Thess. 3:8-9;
- develop a godly work style – Titus 2:9-10;
5. FINANCES – Let us:
- not steal, nor embezzle but rather learn to live within our means – Eph. 4:28;
- be responsible for the needs of our family – 1 Time 5:8;
- How much quality and excellence are we putting in our work?
- Would God be pleased with the way we do our work?
- Are we proud of the way we do our work and do we think God will be pleased with the end product or service?
If not, then let us use the guidelines and principles in this article to make improvements so that we will indeed be the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world.
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