The Oneness of God and the Work Place
"one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:6 ESV
"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him." Ephesians 6:5-9 ESV
This is my second post on the topic of Practical Oneness; I wanted to come back and visit this issue again. I feel that it is important to examine the practical implications of the Oneness of God and not just the theological implications of the Oneness of God. For too long the Oneness of God has been mere theology that we debate over, but not a principle to live by.
Our text here in Ephesians 6 shows us how the Oneness of God applies to our secular work place. Paul is writing in chapter 6 still in the spirit of what he says in chapter 4: "one God and father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." In other words, the Oneness of God not only applies to worship, but to work. In reality our secular work is worship; therefore we should serve on our job "as you would Christ," or as the KJV says, "as unto Christ."
To many times we as Christians separate our lives in to a spiritual-secular dichotomy and things like the Oneness of God is relegated to worship/spiritual and therefore has no bearing on work/secular. As a result Christians sometimes make lousy employees. Paul makes the argument that on your secular job that you are really a "servant of Christ (vs. 6)," and you are "doing the will of God (vs. 6)." We must understand that on the job, and not just at church, you are a Oneness Pentecostal. This is going to affect every aspect of your employment.
THE WORK PLACE & ATTENDANCE
By attendance I mean both showing up, and showing up on time. There are a lot of people who would not think about laying out of church, or being late for church; however they are always calling off from work or showing up late for work on the slightest whim. They feel justified in doing this because after all church is worship, and the job, well that is just work. But you have to remember that there is only one God that you serve (Matthew 4:10), whether serving the Lord's Supper at the Lord's table, or serving a Grand Slam at Denny's table. Be faithful and prompt!
THE WORK PLACE AND ETHICS
When you realize that you are serving God on the job, and not just your boss or a Corporation, it will affect your ethics. When the manager puts pressure on you to fudge the numbers, or lie to a client, you understand that you are the "servant of Christ (vs. 6)," and as such you seek to please Him and Him alone.
THE WORK PLACE AND THE OPPRESSIVE BOSS
There are times when a Christians has to work where there is an oppressive boss in the work place. What is he/she to do in a situation like that? What is the answer? The Oneness of God is the answer according to Paul: "Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him (vs. 9)."
There is One God that is both your master, and the master of the oppressive boss. And there is no partiality with God. God does not play favorites! He does not let a manager who is harsh get away with his harshness just because he is in a position of authority. Just realize that your manager is also employed by your Master and your Master is fair. There is a complaint department that you can go to called prayer that is more effective any Human Resources department in any Corporation in the world.
There are many more applications that could be made here, but I will not bore you with them all. I hope that I have made my point with clarity and that you realize that there is more to the Oneness of God than theology, but that the Oneness of God has very practical implications as well; it must affect how you live.