Revealing God in Workplace

REVEALING GOD IN WORKPLACE

Bible text:

Slaves are to be submissive to their own mastersin everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,not pilfering,but showing all good faith,so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior”. [Titus 2: 9,10]

Shortcommentary:

Slaves in context:

Slavery was an unquestioned institution in the first century. At that time, slaves were found in all professions. W.L. Westermann writes,

The institution of slavery was a fact of Mediterranean economic life so completely accepted as a part of the labour structure of the time that one cannot correctly speak of the slave “problem” in antiquity. This unquestioning acceptance of the slave system explains why Plato in his plan of the good life as depicted in The Republic did not need to mention the slave class. It was simply there.

[W.L. Westermann.The Slave Systems of Greek and Roman Antiquity(The American Philosophical Society, 1955) p.215. Cited in James M.Rochford, The Bible and Slvaery, Evidence Unseen, < http://www.evidenceunseen.com/articles/the-goodness-of-god/the-bible-and-slavery/> (Accessed date: 3 March, 2014)]

End result expected from a slave:

in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

Through each and every action the master may see how this slave is living a redeemed life in Christ

submissive to their own masters in everything

Probably in the then context, this is the job and structure of the then slaves. Whereas in other passages Bible does says about freedom for slaves as well.

20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a bondservant[ d] when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants[ e] of men. “ I Cor 7:20-23

now the question to ponder is “ can an employee agree to the injustice done to him?”.

Here we face the difficulty of seeing both the verses that talk about justice and submission to authorities in tension.

For instance, if the head of the department asks his teacher (who is a believer) to pass a student who has not attended the class and who has performed extremely bad in his exam, what should be his response?

In today’s understanding of world with lot of empowerment to justice and right to information, the context we are living is not as it was in Paul’s time. At this point the teacher should show God of justice (Amos 5:24) through his evaluation and let the student fail. Even though this is a tough call to the believing teacher with all question of fired from job, this should be the response from teacher Biblically.

they are to be well-pleasing:

In today’s context this implies each person fulfilling his duties to the great extent so that he may be well appreciated by his supervisors. May be this is the automatci outcome if we do everything as we do to the Lord as ecpressed in Colo 3:23

not argumentative:

The role of a prophet as we see in the Bible is that of argumentative nature. But here we find an instance where Paul asks the slave not to be argumentative or not to contradict. How do we see the two sides in perspective? Should we also hold on to this principle in times when we see right to information and more emphasis on justice?

Well. This aspect should be seen alongside of other quality mentioned as “ showing all good faith”, “ not pilfrering” (stealing) and “well pleasing”. Probably if an employee who is always into doing good things and is excellent in his job, contradicts the employer there is possibility the employeer rethink.

not pilfering:

This is one of the basic principles God has revealed in Mosaic law itself. Can a teacher bring home the pen or pencil that is kept for official use? What is our conviction about pirated softwares or music?

but showing all good faith:

A believing employer should be a faithful person to his boss. He has to be faithful even in little things. In a times when people struggle to find faithful people how much we adorning the doctrine of God will become obvious when we remain as faithful people?

Reflection Questions:

  1. In today’s new paper we have a news item about junior doctors going on strike in Lucknow. What will be your response if you were a junior doctor there? ( http://epaper.indianexpress.com/237368/Lucknow/03-March-2014#page/8/1)

  2. We see a lot of election activities taking place. How do we discern the ones who will be faithful and will not steal?

  3. What challenge do we see in your work place?

  4. How can you show Christ in your workplace?

 

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Why Men Fight

Why Men Fight

How wonderful the plants are?

Red flower in a plant with green leaves

Nest to it is a plant with yellow flower

Are they not expressing your love to all kinds?

God you created men in different kind

With yellow, black, brown, and red skin.

Are you, Lord, the one who created this mankind

and plants that spread sweet fragrance?

Oh God! Plants are of different kinds.

Do they fight with each other?

But men with differences fight. Why?

What is wrong with man? What is special with plants?

Father, My heavenly Father….

Help me to be like plants

Help our mankind to live in harmony

Exhibiting fragrance and beauty forever

 

நீ விசுவாசித்தால் !

நீ விசுவாசித்தால் ! is a Tamil article on faith. Please click the following link to access the article. This article is written by my wife Selin and got published in Tharisana Sudar magazine, Jan 2014 issue.

click the following link to access the article: http://benalintamil.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/visuvasithal/

Teachers as nation builders

Happy Teachers day to all my teachers.

We live in a pakka set up of Kali yugh (last days as per Christian understanding). Day after day we see shocking crime reports. News about rape has become everyday news. Bribery, corruption, abuse of power and possition are the order of the day. Policy paralysis, slow growth rate and struggling Indian economy are some of the serious concerns our nation is facing.

 Teaching is one important profession which can really change the fate of our nation. I remember incidents where villegers comment ‘you are a learned person. How come you do such a petty act’. Well, in Indian psyche, education is not just gaining expertice in one particular field of study, but more than that it has to do with ‘being civilized’. But it is sad to see a holy profession like teaching becoming a source of mere consumerism and business. Consumerised education has brought down the quality of education to a great extent. It is sad to see such a situation arising in a nation which always hold teaching as a sacred festival with a festival like ‘guru purnima’ centred upon gurus.

 India does not lack a strong foundation for education. India’s university kind of education dates back to around 500 BC when Nalanda university was in its hay day with 10,000 students and 2000 faculty. Also guru (master) – sishya (disciple) kind of learning is not alien to Indian education system. India has also produced many model propogators of education like Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Swami Vivekananda and so on.

 

Past is history but the present with its technical and educational advancements doesn’t seem very well. That is why the role of teachers as nation builders is crucial. One of the definitions for guru (master) goes like this: “he word Guru is derived from two words, ‘Gu’ and ‘Ru’. The Sanskrit root “Gu” means darkness or ignorance. “Ru” denotes the remover of that darkness. Therefore one who removes darkness of our ignorance is a Guru”. India is faced with lot of darkness as I have discussed in the first paragraph. The questions Indian education system has to ask are: Can the teachers teach with a perspective that will help in removing the above vices completely? Teachers primarily give interpretation of the texts. Can teachers choose to teach in such a way to enable the students to stand against vices?

 Being a Bible teacher, I see Jesus as a perfect example of a good teacher. Some of the good qualities of teaching is as follows:

He chose to teach in a very contemporary and easy to understand way. He used parables (short stories on a theme) as a means for the same.

“And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable.” (Luke 8:4).

He stood against the existing wrong teachings and sought to bring transformation through right kind of teaching.

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.” (Matthew 21:12-17)

He focused primarily on moral transformation through his teaching.

“Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Matthew 15:10,11)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

(Matthew 5:27-28)

May the Lord almighty enable the teachers of this nation to be nation builders.