I have the joy to fellowship and share my life with many believers who work in varied occupations. One evening at our Bible fellowship, we began talking about our jobs and different godly principles we apply at work as good stewards of our time, of the resources available to us on the job, and of our work performance. During our discussion, our fellowship coordinator laid a good foundation with this basic truth:
I Corinthians 4:1,2:
Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
Stewardship requires faithfulness. As our discussion progressed, varied and helpful aspects of the “how” of stewardship on the job contributed to our edifying discussion. As I considered all the great and godly insights people shared about stewardship, I was reminded that we as born-again believers can make a difference in the workforce because we add value to our workplace. For example, simply by being good stewards of our work performance by doing our best work from the heart, we can add value to our workplace. Here is a sampling of our discussion.
Two believers in our fellowship described being good stewards of their work performance as “Doing whatever I am tasked to do to the best of my ability,” and doing this “…even if I’ve never done the task I am asked to do.” They valiantly do their best, even with a new or critical task, citing these two verses:
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much….
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Not only do we give our best out of our own ability, but we also have God’s ability available to us. Relying on God to help us do our best is an excellent way to be good stewards of our work performance, adding value to the workplace.
As good stewards of our work performance, we increase our value to our employers, making us worthy of employment. For example, employment can be described as a mutual exchange of value. An employee adds value in the form of work performance, delivering to the employer results that are passed on to customers in return for their agreed-upon payment. The employer adds value to the employee in the form of income. As believer employees, the godly exhortations in these next two verses help us to be good stewards as we perform each task from the heart and deliver our maximum best, ensuring maximum value:
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
We do our best work from the heart, “knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance.” And as we work heartily, we add value to our employers as well as benefit the end users of the services we offer. One believer who works directly with patients in the health care industry noted how he does his best by paying attention to every detail being communicated and every detail that he is communicating. This can yield obvious benefits, such as avoiding confusion and getting things accomplished in a timely manner. What a simple way we too can add value.
In Matthew 25, Jesus Christ tells a parable about a man and his servants. It provides an example of how the diligent efforts that two of his servants put forth added financial value to their employer. And we’ll see that not only the employer benefited but also the employees.
And so he [the servant] that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
At the end of our Bible fellowship, we all agreed that stewardship on the job is a great way we as born-again believers can add value to our place of employment. For employees who seek to excel and grow and be the best we can be, God’s Word shows us principles that can help us. As we apply Biblical principles, including working heartily and doing our best work from the heart, we are positive examples of Biblical stewardship at work.