As the new year begins, many of us will have made resolutions for the year ahead. Resolutions to do with health and changing bad habits often feature highly on the list, but how many of us make a resolution to be a godly employee at work? What does it mean to be a godly employee? We asked one of our regulars from the Tuesday lunchtime congregation to share his thoughts on this question. We hope it will persuade you to make being a godly employee a resolution for the new year!
God has ‘blessed us [Christians] in Christ with every spiritual blessing’ (Ephesians 1:3). Sin is cancelled, death has lost its sting, and eternal life in a renewed creation awaits. ‘A few more summers, a few more winters’, and all will be done that can be done in this world. How do Christians live in the meantime? We have such freedom in the gospel – how do we use it?
We are to walk in a manner worthy of our calling, seeking the things that are above where Christ is, setting our minds on them. As he who called us is holy, so we are to be holy ourselves in all our conduct.
The Christian’s freedom in the gospel is to be used responsibly, striving to live as God wants us to, despite our continual inability to do so perfectly. God’s Word is very specific on the holiness into which Christians should mature – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, sober mindedness, submission to authorities, hospitality, patience, service to the body of Christ, truthfulness, purity, wholesomeness, compassion, sincerity, and mutual encouragement. And so on.
What a list! But how does that apply to life in the City? How can Christians working here in the City of London be godly in the face of the world, the flesh and the devil?
Unique challenges can face us here – separation from families and homes, long commutes, longer hours, intense pressure for results, multiple levels of expectations, and an idolisation of career. For the vast majority of those who come to the City, their own narrow field of work is their sole reason for being here. Everything else is abandoned at the doorstep.
The City is a temple to work. Thousands make the daily pilgrimage to their office, arduous though it may be. The activity that occurs here is so sacred it must not be diluted with other priorities. Industry approval is revered and its fickle attentions sought religiously. All eyes are on the next round of billing, bonuses or results – they speak salvation or despair to their enthralled servants.
Godliness in such a place is not just a matter of working hard. That will often go unnoticed. The world does as much. More than that;
It is commitment to the body of Christ – prioritising gospel assembly and service with our time and money.
It is sanctified conversation free of swearing, blasphemy, or vulgarity.
It is association with the lowly as well as the lofty, from office cleaner and porter up to the CEO.
It is risk taking and zeal for the glory of God’s name and not our own.
It is liberality with time for others and attention to their lives.
It is prayer for the needs of the City and the office – for eyes to be opened and for a hunger for God’s word.
It is seeking a renewed mind free of selfish ambition and petty greed.
It is daily putting on the gospel armour for a spiritual war of attrition.
It is winning souls for Christ’s everlasting kingdom.
It is Christian perseverance.
We do it all in response to what he has first done for us; that whilst we were still sinners and far off from Him, Jesus died for us. And though we won’t always manage to live this way all of the time, how wonderful is is that we have forgiveness in Christ through His death on the Cross.
The City of London was once renowned the world over as a bastion not just of commerce but of the gospel. Its business ethics were beyond question, its people flocked by thousands to hear the Bible taught, and its skyline of church spires visibly proclaimed the invisible work of God among its citizens. Considering the godly witness of our ancestors let us respond to Christ’s sacrifice in similar service with reverence and faithfulness.