What is your attitude like at work today? In our workplaces we struggle with right attitudes and actions as we relate to our coworkers, employers, and employees.
The fifth of the Ten Commandments calls us to honor our father and mother. The Westminster Shorter Catechism teaches that the fifth commandment is a shorthand requirement that we be faithful in all our relationships of authority – as superiors, inferiors, or equals.
Thomas Watson, in his Body of Divinity, a commentary on the Catechism, outlined a few ways that we should fulfill these duties in the workplace (the language has been slightly updated at a few points).
How does and employee or servant serve his employer or master?
- In obeying his master in things that are lawful and honest (1 Peter 2:18; Romans 13:12).
- The servant’s honoring his master is seen in being diligent in his service (Matthew 25:26).
- The servant is to honor his master by being faithful. “Who then is a faithful and wise servant?” (Matt 24:45).
- The servant is to honor his master by serving him, as with love, without complaining (Titus 2:9).
And how should masters or employers honor their servants or employees? Remembering that they have a master in heaven (Ephesians 6:9):
- Masters must take care to provide for their servants. As they appoint them work, so they must give them their food in due season (Luke 17:7).
- Masters should encourage their servants in their work, by commending them when they do well.
- Masters must not overburden their servants, but proportion their work to their strength.
- Masters must seek the spiritual good of their servants.
- Masters should be mild and gentle in their behavior towards servants (Ephesians 6:9).
- Be very exact and punctual in the agreements you make with your servants.
- Take care of your servants, not only in health, but in sickness.