Whom Do You Serve?

By Art Klaum

“Who do you work for?” In social or networking situations, this is not an uncommon conversation starter. A follow-up question may be, “What industry or market segment do you serve?” How would you answer these questions?

I think many people who read this article may get stuck searching for an immediate answer. Why is that? I would suggest that it’s because we know we have a higher calling in the marketplace than what the world’s view is but don’t know how to connect it with our “official” job description. We may not be prepared to verbalize the reason for our hope or explain our role from God’s perspective.

If you think about it, aren’t we, as Christians, supposed to serve as Jesus served? Why is it a challenge then to explain how our work serves our Father? Aren’t we supposed to manifest the love of our Father in all that we do?

I’d propose that it really isn’t—or shouldn’t be—that hard to connect our work life to our Christian calling. It is not just a matter of perspective. It is a matter of understanding who we are—not just what our educational background is or what our job description says we are supposed to be doing.

Early in my career, a major aspect of what I did and how I did it was all about me. Clearly that is a very selfish perspective—and this was even after sixteen years of parochial education and going to church almost every week. It was all about me: my reputation, my abilities, my contributions to the team, my title, the recognition that I earned, and the possessions I had collected. Me. Me. Me. I did the job I was hired to do and very little extra.

Through a series of encounters with Jesus, my heart began to understand that the only thing I could or should be in control of is my surrender in allowing the Father’s will to be made manifest in my life.

In John 5:1-30, Jesus was challenged for healing a man at the pool called Bethesda. He did this on the Sabbath, when no work was supposed to be done. In response to the Jewish leaders who were questioning him, Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working” (John 5:17). Jesus didn’t care about society’s norms or mores about how to honor the Sabbath. The critics didn’t react very well: “For this reason they tried all the more to kill him” (John 5:18).

In my current role, my job is to help people do their jobs better. In many cases, I have no experience in what they do or how they do it. I am simply called to serve them. If I am able to help them have one less thing to worry about or resolve one thing that is keeping them from being as successful as they think they can be, I have been successful.

And you know what? It is not about me anymore. It is about the Spirit of God working through me to serve them. I know whom I serve, and my Boss will provide for me, even if I get the same reaction Jesus did at the pool of Bethesda.

8 thoughts on “Whom Do You Serve?

  1. Hi Art! It is always good to see and read your “posts”. Hope and pray all is going well for you and your wife. Love from me. Ron Simon

  2. You’ve simplified something I make too hard. By changing my identity from someone owning a company or performing a job, to someone who works for our Father; I automatically feel God’s hand, Jesus’s presence and the Holy Spirit’s energy. And then good things happen. Thank you!

  3. We don’t always get to choose who we serve or to decide whether they are worthy of help. It’s hard, but we really have to accept being helpless, submitting to the Lord’s will and serving those he puts in front of us.

  4. I loved this. The focus is just being present and available to serve the people around us. Even if it is a simple little thing, it can be big in building the kingdom of God.

  5. I love reading your articles about Christians in the work place.I just ran across it a few weeks ago and signed up to recieve your messages. I wish I would have found it sooner. I have been struggling with issues at my job for a long time.A lot of anger towards other co workers and not really knowing what it means to work for our father in heaven at my job.Your articles have helped tremendously.Thank you for being there.

  6. Thank you Art for your article. It challenges me to be more in the workplace for the people who I work with. We have had a recent contract change and the working environment has become very difficult. Your article reminds me to be Christ to others. Thank you.

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