Our Work Ethic Reflects Ourselves, Not Those We Work For

  1. Message: Reading through the parable of the talents in Luke 19 was very familiar until I noticed something different mentioned In Luke that I have not seen in the same story told in Matthew. In Luke there is a back story set before the talents are even issued to the servants. In verse 12 it says that the man was a nobleman who was called away to a distant empire was going to be crowned king and then he would return. Before he left he handed out the talents to his servants to invest, but verse 14 says that his people hated him and didn’t want him to be their king. So much so that they sent a delegate after him to tell him so. After he was crowned king he came back to ask them what they did with his money. What really caught my attention about these details is the attitude they had toward the man. They hated him so they weren’t loyal or devoted to him at all. In spite of that, one servant thrived, the second one did pretty well but the third one made excuses and blamed the man for his failure to even do anything. I believe the fact that these servants hated him had a lot to do with how they each responded. This is just speculation, but I can’t help but wonder if the first man was motivated by his hatred to prove himself, the second did what was needed to get by and the third was completely withdrawn from his hatred and it made him unproductive and full of excuses. Again, my thoughts about this are purely speculation on a fictional story that Jesus told, but I can’t help but recognize some really common human behavior.
  2. Command: Everything we do deserves our best work ethic
  3. Promise: God is the rewarder.
  4. Warning: If we allow our attitude toward people to influence our work ethic, we will be inconsistent and at times, completely unproductive!
  5. Application:  As I mentioned before, my interpretation is purely speculation, but I recognize some familiar tendencies both in myself and in others. I have seen my own attitude towards work change based on the way I feel about the management. To clarify, I love the people I work for, but I often get frustrated with the management and I have to become intentionally aware of how this affects my work. It should NOT change my work ethic, but unfortunately, I have to keep checking myself here. I can only imagine how it would be if I actually hated my employer. To remind myself, I have the scripture from Colossians 3:23 reminding myself that I am working for the Lord in all that I do. This way I don’t get distracted by the things I dislike.

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