The late Pierre Elliott Trudeau, one of Canada’s more noteworthy prime ministers, once campaigned for a ‘fair and just society’. Perhaps the defining moment of his public career was his Just Society speech. But no society can push God aside and expect to achieve fairness and equality – because God Himself is the source of all that is just and fair.
In the Apostle Paul’s day, slavery was very common. Not every slave was treated harshly; in fact, many were treated humanely and enjoyed a measure of respect in domestic circles. However, the Apostle Paul ensures masters and owners, who had become Christians, knew they not only had a moral responsibility to be ‘just and fair’ – they now had a Christological reason to be just and fair to all. He writes:
Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Colossians 4:1
In our day, many Christians, because of their clean lifestyle, integrity, reliability and work ethic, end up in management positions. If any manager should be gracious in her supervision, gentle in her style and generous in her remuneration, it should be the Christian employer – the Christian manager.
For years, trade unions justifiably pushed for ‘pay equity’ and ‘equality’ in the workplace. Why? Because equity in pay was lacking and there were many deficits in equality. Management often paid women less for work of equal value. Women and minorities only rose so high in a business, before hitting a glass ceiling – the invisible barrier that prevented them from other promotions.
Christian managers should not be a part of cheapness, meanness, selfishness, skimpiness, harshness, discrimination, favoritism or bias. Many in business management claim that a high percentage (90%+) of union grievances and issues can be traced back to the attitudes, behaviours, faulty decisions and questionable practices of supervisors and managers. Maybe you find that shocking.
Christian business owners, employers, and managers, should strive to reflect Christ in the workplace and in their treatment of employees. If we honored the Scriptures, we would! A.T. Robertson, a noteworthy Christian Greek scholar said if employers always gave to employees ‘that which is just and equal’, there would be NO labour problems.
There is much in the world we can not change because we have little or no influence in those realms. Where Christians are not in leadership positions, we can expect to find favoritism, biases, prejudices, and unfairness. However, we are responsible to be a Christ-like influence in the sphere where God has placed us.
As a young Christian, starting your career, ensure you always honour your Master by always treating others right and always with fairness. When you get your first management job with supervisory responsibilities of any kind, make sure you are above reproach and criticism in all your dealings, interactions and decisions related to your work.
Would you like your Master in Heaven to treat you the way you deal with others? May the Lord help us to be more Christ-like in all our interactions with people today.
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ
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