18: Treat others with respect and dignity at work (Job 31:13–15)

Scripture ReadingJob 31:13-15

A godly employer will treat employees with respect and dignity. This is particularly evident in the way Job takes his servants’ complaints seriously (Job 31:13-15). Job correctly points out that those in power will have to stand before God to defend their treatment of those under them.

God will inquire from subordinates how their superiors treated them. Superiors would be wise to ask their subordinates the same question while it is still possible to remedy their errors. The mark of true and humble followers of God is their openness to the possibility that they are in the wrong, which is most evidenced by their willingness to field any and all legitimate complaints.

Our time has seen great struggles for equality in the workplace with respect to race, religion, nationality, sex, class and other factors. The Book of Job anticipates these struggles by thousands of years. Yet Job goes beyond merely formal equality of demographic categories. He sees the equal dignity of every person in his household. We will become like Job when we treat each person with all the dignity and respect due to a child of God, regardless of our personal feelings or the sacrifice required on our part.

This truth does not mean Christian bosses should not establish high standards in the workplace. However, it does require that the ethos of any workplace relationship be characterized by respect and dignity, especially on the part of the powerful.

Prayer: Jesus, may I treat each person I work with and meet with the respect and dignity due to a child of God, made in your image. Amen.

For Further Exploration: Read d from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary.

Author: Theology of Work Project

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