Bible Question:

As Christians how are we to go about submitting to authority at work when it is obvious that our talents are being treated and used as pearls before swine?

Bible Answer:

This is a very important issue, since many people struggle with how their employers reward and treat them. Some Christians struggle because their work is not very interesting, they are being paid less, they missed a promotion, or they have the concern that you have. The issue is actually not the employer.

The Biblical Princple

The biblical principle that covers all of these situations is found in Colossians. The passage is about slaves. Obviously we do not have slaves today, but the principles still apply.

Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. (NASB) Colossians 3:22-24

God says that the issue you are struggling with is a heart issue. On the job, you are not serving your employer but God. God wants employees to do their work with sincere hearst and with eagerness. We are to serve our employers as unto the Lord. The principle does not depend on who our employers are. If we realized the Lord is our employer, we would all be eager to serve Him. Maybe we would even give Him overtime. We would be eager to impress Him.

Employer Is Not A Master

But you are not a slave to your employer in the sense that he or she owns you. You may feel like a slave if you are fearful to leave your employer or feel trapped. But ultimately we have the freedom in many cultures around the world today to leave and work for someone else. But a Christian who chooses to work for an employer needs to follow the biblical principle above. Why? Because God promises the “reward of inheritance.” Also your godly example, strong commitment, and faithfulness on the job will give you a foundation or platform for telling others about Jesus Christ.


We would encourage you to either look for another job or serve your employer as you would serve Jesus Christ. God is more interested in your heart, and your godly example. It is important to remember that God has also asked us to do the following,

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (NASB) Colossians 3:17

I have found that when I start giving thanks to my God, my attitude changes – others and things. May we encourage you to give thanks for your employer if you stay, and then work for him/her as you would the Lord. I believe you will find that God will greatly bless you in your work.