DON’T ask ‘What would Jesus do?’ That’s a bad question.

It leads to theological abstraction, endless debate and little or no action. The real question is ‘What did Jesus do?’ In the gospels we have a record of Christ’s completely human life lived out before his Father. We know what Jesus did. It’s an excellent place to discover what Jesus had to say about work.

“My food,” says Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34).

When He said this, Jesus had just finished speaking with the woman at the well in John 4. His disciples urged him to eat something. The disciples were big men with big appetites. Their food was probably some nice Mediterranean Olives with a few grilled fish and some bread.

Jesus says, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me.” Doing his Father’s work was more important than eating His daily bread. Jesus says something similar when He is tempted in the desert, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

In other words, Jesus does not approach His work as a grumpy malcontent.

In the eternal decrees of God, the intent of the Father was that the Son should be incarnate and redeem His people through perfect obedience. Jesus was completely human - completely obedient - working to please someone else, working to do someone else’s will, and finding pleasure in it.

Our obedience in the workplace is a dim reflection of our obedience to God. What is more difficult: finishing a project for your boss or not lying? Completing a design on time or removing pornography from your computer? Meeting budget requirements or demonstrating sacrificial love to the unlovely? In truth, the requirements and demands of God far outweigh any demand of the workplace.

Your relationship to authority in the workplace speaks volumes about your spiritual maturity. If we cannot answer to the authority relationships all around us, can we truly fool ourselves into believing we are obedient to God?
Ultimately, managers do not like to work with people who fight them every step of the way. After being in the workforce for over 35 years, I have observed even the most difficult manager show grudging respect for people who cooperate with them.

If you claim to be a Christian, you should not be a chronic, habitual pain in the neck to your boss. Short of ethical challenges, your job, until you find another one, is to work with your boss and support their plans and thinking.
The first principle of work we learn from the life of Jesus is the principle of doing what someone else has sent us to do. It is the principle of cooperation. Christians should be the most willing and cooperative workers. This does not mean we blindly comply with every request, or conduct unethical behavior. But our bosses should know they can count on us to support them and work with them.

If God were to conduct a performance review for you today, on a scale of 1-10, how well would He say you are cooperating with your boss?

Article by James Bohn

The Christian Messenger