50: Humble service at work (Philippians 2:3–4)

Scripture ReadingPhilippians 2:3–4

Since our work is actually God’s work in us, our work should be worthy, as God’s work is. But apparently we have the ability to hinder God’s work in us, for Paul exhorts, “Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Phil. 1:27).

Regarding others as better than ourselves is the mind-set of those who have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:3). Our humility is meant to be offered to all the people around us, not just to Christians. For Jesus’ death on the cross—the ultimate act of humility—was for sinners and not for the righteous.

Workplaces offer unlimited opportunities for humble service. You can be generous in giving credit to others for success and stingy in passing out blame for failure. You can listen to what someone else is saying instead of thinking ahead to your reply. You can give up your envy at another person’s success or promotion or higher salary, or, failing that, you can take your envy to God in prayer instead of to your buddies at lunch.

Conversely, workplaces offer unlimited opportunities for selfish ambition. There are two antidotes. First, make sure your success depends on and contributes to others’ success. This generally means operating in genuine teamwork with others in your workplace. Second, continually seek accurate feedback about yourself and your performance.

One way to look to the interests of others at work is to pay attention to how racial and ethnic bias affects people in your workplace. Rev. Dr. Gina Casey, staff chaplain at St Joseph Health in Santa Rosa, California, says, “It is time for believers to become intentional about being educated concerning and acknowledging the existence of racism in the workplace. Christians must also strive to understand and be observant of the toll these issues are taking on the financial, social and emotional well-being of their Black co-workers and employees. It is a moral obligation for people of faith to seek to learn more about implicit racial bias and microaggressions in the workplace, and then continually engage in the discipline of self-examination to uncover areas in need of personal behavior modification and healing.”

Prayer: Jesus, I hope to live my life “in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Help me be an agent of your healing and humble service, especially in my workplace. Amen.

For Further Exploration: Read Do Your Work in a Worthy Manner (Philippians 1:27–2:11) from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary.

Author: Theology of Work Project

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