“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.” Ephesians 6:5-8
Having graduated from college with a Bachelor’s in History, I now work at a pizza restaurant. As with probably all food service establishments, the work can at time get quite grueling, with relatively low pay as a reward. Quite often the situation can become very frustrating, as customers stream through the door, the phones keep ringing, and I’m falling behind with orders. It’s times like these that my faith is tested. As a burgeoning writer and scholar, I love to study theology and Church history. But do I put my knowledge into practice?
In 1 Peter 3, we learn that the best witness for Christ that we can make is living a life of obedience and gentleness. We are to live such righteous and compassionate lives that the supernatural is evidenced through us. But this is hard. When it’s been a busy day at work, and I’m behind on re-stocking food for the next day, I often grumble to myself or complain about how frustrating a situation I’m in. And this is something I need the Holy Spirit to work on in me. While I try not to complain about my bosses, and obey their orders, I still have a problem with complaining to myself about the situation. And I’ve come to believe that this also is wrong. God has blessed me with a full-time job, with which I can pay off my school and car loans, so why should I complain? When the job gets hard, why do I grumble instead of relying on God to help me through it?
As the passage in Ephesians says, I am ultimately working for God. He made me with the ability and desire to work, and he will reward me for my service with far more lasting treasures than government-backed pieces of paper. With an eternity of life ahead of me, in which I will live with God forever, is thirty-five to forty hours a week of grilling sandwiches and painting pizzas really too much to ask?