Ephesians 6:5-8 (NKJV) "Bondservants, be obedient to your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is slave or free."
Christian ethics in the kitchen, not the easiest nor one of the clearest subjects in today's evangelical confusion. This confusion is so pervasive that Christian conduct is often confused with personal evangelism and the Gospel itself.
I was often told as a child that I was to share the Gospel more with my actions than my words; that my life was to portray Christ. Later, though, as I grew older and worked at various businesses, both Christian and non-Christian, I came to find those instructions neither entirely effective nor theologically accurate.
Now, by way of that, I am not saying that our lives are not integral to the preaching of the Gospel, but rather that in seeking, out of zeal and sincerity, the dissemination* of the Gospel, our ethical obligations in the workplace become obscured and our conduct suffers accordingly.
In Ephesians, Paul exhorts those bound in service to work as unto Christ when fulfilling our obligations to our earthly masters. And to do so out of sincerity, not out of fraudulent goodwill. This precludes unhealthy, dishonest ambition or "playing the game" as some of us were taught to do in order to succeed. This is not to say that Christians should not pursue professional success or have an ambitious perspective. But rather, that it must be done in humility and honesty, that the success might be founded upon truth rather than fiction.
Furthermore, our obedience unto Christ in the workplace is most appropriately displayed by our performance, by outperforming others for that matter; by arguing less and submitting more. Thus, how we live comes into focus and clearer relationship with the presentation of the Gospel. So as our actions are seen, avenues of sincere evangelism arise because our conduct becomes a witness and testimony unto the Gospel rather than an argument or polemic against it.
I leave you with this passage, which is, I believe, very indicative of the type of environments which we as Christians encounter in kitchens today.
1 Peter 2:20 (NAS) "For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God."
by Adam Bennett
*Dissemination = The spreading of, or preaching of the gospel
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