Author Archives: Mateas Darden

Work • Devotion #4: How to be a Great Employee God’s Way

The most difficult part of a job transition is adjusting to a new boss. When we become a follower of Christ, we shift from being our own boss into becoming an employee of the true Boss. This new position places God as the focus and authority in our lives.  As a result, we get a new training manual and access to perfect love. As He refines us, He hires us with the intent to reflect Him in our earthly lives and our earthly jobs. Here are five ways that reflection can begin.

First, be humble. Throughout the Bible (Luke 14:11; Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:12; 1 Peter 1:5), humility is a prominent virtue outlined. We are called, as Christ-followers, to be humble in respect to others and God. The Bible tells us that God resists the proud. Knowing that is the case, we should continuously pray for humility so that God remains working in our lives. How can an employee be great with God resisting them?

Second, be helpful. The Bible warns against being lazy (1 Corinthians 10:31; 15:58; Philippians 2:14; Colossians 3:23-24); instead we are called to be doers of the Word. As an employee, this means doing what you are asked. As a Christian employee, this means going above and beyond because you are reflecting Christ. Honor and glorify God by meeting the needs you see or offering solutions to problems. In the book of Philippians, we are commanded to not grumble or complain. Instead of grumbling, remember who sees you work and ultimately who you are honoring in the process. 

Third, be wise. Wisdom begins with fearing the Lord (Proverbs 4:6-7; 19:20; 24:3-7; James 1:5). A great employee applies wisdom in all areas of their life to do their spiritual and physical jobs to the best of their ability. God builds through wisdom. If anyone lacks wisdom, they are told to ask God and it will be given to them. In other words, God does not deny a request to be wise so this is something a great employee cannot work without. 

Fourth, be submissive. Good employees understand that God is completely in control and just (Romans 12:18; 13:1-7; Hebrews 13:17). He has placed every leader in their role (and removes leaders). It is not our place to rebel against authority, it is our job to be diligent with what we have been entrusted. God is all-knowing and all-powerful, He accomplishes His purposes in ways we may not understand (Remember when He used Nebuchadnezzar? Or the Assyrians? Or the Babylonians?). Strengthen your relationship with God, concern yourself with what you are responsible for, and strive for peace to the best of your ability. New Life Camp director Tim Woelkers Jr. says, “Love Jesus, serve people.”  

Fifth, be flexible. Ultimately you are not in charge and you do not know everything; God does and that is why He makes the plans (Isaiah 55:8-9; Romans 8:28; Colossians 1:16-17). Being a great employee involves adjusting to changes that occur and giving God permission to interrupt. Be open to doing what God asks of you; in addition to what your boss asks of you. After all, it is an anomaly for things to go as you planned. My advice is to accept that (have a good cry if you are a planner like me) and move on with the day. After you accept this, rejoice in the truth that God is sovereign and works all things out. 

Testimony #1

Reach | Testimony #1
Mateas Stack | Student Ministry

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, those who are called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28 

Long before I knew this verse existed, my mother ingrained the gist of it into the brain of her four kids, “God has a plan.” Quite honestly, I had no idea who God was or why in moments of trial she said this; quickly I classified it as a cliché.

That sounds like a decision made by a bitter old person, but I can assure you I came to that conclusion at age seven – when my father unexpectedly passed away. I recall my mom collecting us in her arms and only saying those four words repeatedly. I was immensely confused and angered by the confidence she had in that statement and remained that way as we relearned how to be a family. 

In the midst of moving and finding a new normal, I would hear her phrase and think, “Is she not paying attention?” I questioned her as she began dragging us to church, a place where more weirdos shared that phrase. Out of respect, I went along with the weirdness, until life’s deleterious fist struck again. This time my grandfather was taken by cancer and my oldest brother in murder. It became the ugliest time of my life. 

During this time, my mom consistently brought us to church. I hated it. I hated coming into a room, as my life unraveled, to a guy screaming excitedly about God and His Son, Jesus, being awesome. Nothing made sense, I took everything and processed it through a lens that was angry, broken, and hurt. I hardened my heart and distorted God into someone maleficent. Despite my pleas, my mother still made me go. 

Over the next span of time, God softened my heart, and I invited Jesus into my life at age ten. I still was not sure what that meant exactly, but I knew He was supposed to help me and I began feeling a change.         

After this, I became a Sunday Christian with no deeper growth. I ignored the change I felt and kept unhealed pain close to my heart; nevertheless, God pursued me. On March 7, 2015, He won, and I truly began to see Jesus and His love for me. I was baptized the next week and have since begun living out my faith.         

Today, I am pursuing full-time ministry. There are days I struggle to find God’s truth in the midst of my feelings, but He never fails to meet me where I am at and take me in the direction I need to go. Romans 8:28 is no longer a cliché or a source of anger, but has become a beacon of clarity knowing that whatever hits me is going to be worked together for good. Rarely do I know how, but I know it is worked to bring us closer to Jesus and the purpose He has brought to our lives.

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