My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter?
Have you ever seen that bumper sticker? The one that says "My boss is a Jewish carpenter." I certainly have and generally when I see it I quietly agree with the driver and take the encouragement that comes with seeing a fellow soldier in the Lord's army. Just this evening, though, I had a thought as I was driving home from Bible study. "Should Jesus be my boss?" Now before you go casting judgment on the thought let me explain what I mean. I propose that instead if being a "boss" we should be looking at God and Christ as "Master." I'll explain by looking at some differences in the idea of boss and master.
Difference #1: Why were you hired?
Difference #1: Why were you hired?
When an individual is hired for a job by an employer it is for a specific reason. Perhaps a particular skill, talent or level of education qualifies someone for a particular job. The employer hires the person that is the most qualified to fulfill the task. Granted, this is the way it is supposed to work. We all know that hiring practices are not always so pure.
On the flip side I think it would be far-fetched to suppose that God "hires" us because we have talents, skills or an education that He needs for His work. Yes, we all have various talents that God can use. However, I do not think that He has ever been in the business of hiring the most qualified people for certain tasks. Just look at some of the people He has used to do His work throughout history: a six-hundred year old farmer/shipbuilder; a stuttering, murderous, former prince of Egypt; a ruddy, young shepherd; twelve average Joe's from Galilee; an overeducated Christian hater, and the list goes on. I think back to the old adage that I have heard so many times, "God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called." How many CEO's would hire someone completely unqualified just to give them a chance? I dare say that God's plan for the world is slightly more important than a bucket load of stock options.
Difference #2: Compensation
When someone is hired for a position there is usually some kind of agreement as to what sort of compensation will be given for services rendered. In modern America this comes in the form of a salary, medical benefits, retirement, and so on. The idea is that if an employee does what they were hired for then they will receive suitable compensation.
Now, what sort of compensation is made to a slave or servant by their master. The agreement is usually something like this, "If you do what I tell you then I won't beat you or kill you." We could rephrase it something like this, "If you do as I say then you will have a fairly good life." Jesus phrases it as such, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10b.
What does God owe us? Nothing. The creator of the world owes us absolutely nothing. He gives to us out of the riches of His immeasurable mercy, grace and love. If we do as God has called us to do, if we enslave ourselves to Him then we can have the abundant, full life that He wants us to have. Not to mention the fact that by being completely His, we are given the amazing gift of eternal life and the privilege of spending eternity with Him.
Let me pause here and mention something that is very crucial, listen carefully and do not miss this. God's version of the abundant life and our version may be two very different things. Our version may be wealth, health and prosperity. The vast majority of the time, this is not God's version. The abundance of the life lived for God comes from within, not from without. Our full life comes through a relationship with the Almighty and not from a relationship with what He choses to give us. If our fullness of life comes from the blessings that we receive then we have missed the point and we will soon find it not to be so abundant.
Difference #3: Feedback
Many times an employer will ask for feedback from the employees in order to ensure that they are leading the company in the proper manner. I think it is a good thing for bosses to ask their charges how they are doing. This, indeed, is the mark of a good boss. The fact that one fallen human is leading other fallen humans means that mistakes will be made on both sides of the relationship.
God, on the other hand, does not need our feedback. He doesn't need to know that He is doing a good job being the ruler of the Universe and the Master of our lives. You know why? Because He is God. The moment that we think we need to give God our feedback, that we think there is an area He could be doing a little better in, we have elevated ourselves to His level. This is a sin. If we elevate ourselves to His level then we have made a God in our own image. Shame on us.
Difference #4: Rights
In the United States today there are long lists of what rights employees have and what rights employers have. These are in place to make sure that all parties are treated fairly and not taken advantage of. Even in the military subordinate soldiers have the right to refuse an order if it is unlawful. Again, when fallen people are leading other fallen people these rules and regulations need to be in place.
God gives no unlawful orders. Let that sink in for a moment, God gives no unlawful orders. Slaves have no rights, they are at the mercy of their master. So it should be with our relationship to God. We have nothing that He did not give us anyway. We should lay it all down before Him and give our "rights" and lives back to the One from whom they came. To be honest, this is where I struggle. It is a hard thing to give up the one thing that I think I have control over, my own life. This, however, is exactly what God desires from us, complete and utter dependence on Him. This is what Jesus calls us to do, to die to self and become alive in Him.
Needless to say these are only a few of the differences between a boss and a master. Let me also assure anyone that has a "My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter" bumper sticker that I am not against it in the least. In fact, I am thankful that there are those willing to admit that the person they work for is Jesus Christ. It sure does make for interesting thinking though.
Let say another word on this whole idea of being a slave to God. Becoming God's slave does not begin with selling all our belongings and going into the mission field. It does not begin with a great many actions and deeds. It begins by turning our hearts and minds over to the servitude of God Almighty. We must first have our hearts given over to the will of God and then the rest of us will follow. This is a lesson that I must learn first and foremost. We must all decide within our own minds that when the Master of Masters asks for us to become His servants, His slaves, we should only respond by asking Him to take the awl and pierce our ears so that we may be His forever.