Day 173 – Much Given, Much Expected
On: April 22, 2015   |   By: admin   |   Under: Blog   |   Comments: Comments are off

But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:45-48

We looked, yesterday, at how Christians should behave in the workplace. Today, we consider behaviour that needs to be avoided!

Three things leapt off the page, as I read these verses: why did Jesus say “men and women”?; why would the chap in charge be so indulgent? And then the observation that this is addressed to believers (for we are told that, if they behave this way, they will be assigned a place with unbelievers).

Did Jesus highlight the bad treatment being doled out by the master to show that men and women should be treated the same at work, regardless of gender? This would have been quite revolutionary at the time and we would like to think that in the 21st Century this has been addressed and is enshrined in legislation (in the “West”, at least). But you don’t have to look too far to realise that, still, too often men treat women as objects of prey in the workplace. Wolf whistles are an example of what may have been considered acceptable in the recent past, but what about “playful” innuendo across the office floor, or suggestive comments at the office party?

Then Jesus throws the spotlight on consumption: eating, drinking, getting drunk. It’s one thing to accept that a social environment is a good place to get to know work colleagues better. But what constitutes “a quick drink” after work? How much gossip and mischief are spread as one drink becomes two; becomes three and then four? Wary of my last point, the apparently growing number of young women who seem to find it acceptable to fall over helpless into the gutter after a night out on the tiles is a matter of great concern. Is this a perverse side effect of women’s (necessary) struggle to be treated equally?

The twist in the tail of Jesus’ tale is that his comments are addressed to believers. Are we as blameless of these things as we ought to be? Paul sets out the reason we seek to live pure lives in Philippians 2:14-15: Do everything without grumbling or arguing (insulting the opposite sex or getting wellied), so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.

Our motivation to live blameless lives is not to protect our backsides in some future heavenly assizes, but to be an example of a better way to those who watch how we live our lives.

From the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked

Prayer:

Father God, please show me where I behave inappropriately for one who knows You. Forgive me, and grant me the power to change, that I might be more like Jesus. Amen.

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