In the U.S. we celebrate Boss’ Day October 16th each year, a time for employees to recognize and express appreciation to those who supervise them. But, what does Scripture say about the ongoing relationship of bosses and employees?
The Bible verses used for this study pull in the relationship between a slave and his master, governing authorities and their citizens, as well as church leadership and the rest of the Body. The verses are combined as the same instructions seem to hold through similarly for all.
This suggests that we need to maintain the same standards and character whether in the church, government, or workplace … whether we have a Christian or unbelieving boss or employees … whether they are good and considerate or harsh and disrespectful.
Bible Verses about Bosses to Employees:
- Treat them the way you expect them to treat you (Eph. 6:9)
- Do not use threats as a tactic to get them to comply. (Eph. 6:9)
- Be a servant, under God, for the good of others. (Matt. 20:25-28; Rom. 13:4, 6; 1 Pet. 5:2)
- Be attentive to their needs. Watch over them. (Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:2)
- Understand your own accountability. (Heb. 13:17)
- Enable people to enjoy working for you, not feel like it’s a burden. (Heb. 13:17)
- Be fair in the wages you offer. Don’t defraud people but do right by them. (Lev. 19:13; Mal. 3:5; Col. 4:1; James 5:4)
- Get beyond obligations toward them to truly caring and wanting to be there for them. (1 Pet. 5:2)
- Keep everything you do above board Get what you get honestly, with integrity. (1 Pet. 5:2)
- Don’t be controlling. (Matt. 20:25-26; 1 Pet. 5:3)
- View people under you as an entrustment from God. (1 Pet. 5:3)
- Be an example. (1 Pet. 5:3)
- Look for your reward from God. (1 Pet. 5:3-4)
- Demonstrate humility. (1 Pet. 5:5)
Observations: God is concerned about how you treat people. Being a boss doesn’t give you a right to be bossy.
Bible Verses about Employees to Bosses:
- Listen to them (obey). (Eph. 6:5-6; Col. 3:22; Titus 3:1; Heb. 13:17)
- Submit to them (subject to). (Rom. 13:1; Titus 2:9; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14, 18; 5:5)
- Seek to please them. (Titus 2:9)
- Be respectful toward them (respect and fear). Honor them. (Eph. 6:5; 1 Tim. 6:1; 1 Pet. 2:17)
- Maintain honesty and integrity toward them (sincerity of the heart). (Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22)
- Serve them out of reverence for the Lord. (Rom. 13:2; Eph. 6:5-6; Col. 3:22; 1 Pet. 2:13-14)
- Work wholeheartedly not just for them but because of the Lord. (Eph. 6:7-8; Col. 3:23-24)
- Acknowledge God’s sovereignty in who is over you, knowing that God is using this person for your good. (Jn. 19:11; Rom. 13:1-2, 4)
- Do not rebel against their authority. (Rom. 13:2)
- Seek to do what is right. Rise above the fray. Keep your conscience clean. (Rom. 13:3, 5)
- Represent the Lord in the workplace (so His name and teaching not slandered) (1 Tim. 6:1; Titus 2:9-10)
- Don’t take advantage of believing bosses but be all the more motivated to serve well. (1 Tim. 6:2)
- Look for your reward from God. (Eph. 6:7-8; Col. 3:23-24)
- Be humble. (1 Pet. 5:5)
- Stay calm if the one over you rises against you (anger). (Eccl. 10:4)
- Hold your tongue, not talking back at them. (Titus 2:9)
- Be trustworthy, not stealing from them time, money, or other. (Titus 2:9-10)
- Pray for them. (1 Tim. 2:1-4)
Observations: God is as much concerned about our heart attitude toward our bosses as outward compliance. We should be concerned about being a testimony and honoring to the Lord not just pleasing the boss or getting a paycheck.
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